Jun 29, 2012 • By

Tips for open innovation success

For the past six years, Jeff Bellairs has overseen our open innovation platform, the General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network (G-WIN), which helps our product development teams connect with external partners to identify and implement new ideas and solutions that drive our business.

In that role, Jeff has learned firsthand that there is a significant culture change that must occur within an organization for an open innovation strategy to succeed.

In a recent IndustryWeek article, he shared his perspective on what other companies should anticipate when launching open innovation efforts. He also laid out five steps that helped build and sustain our G-WIN platform, including:

Benchmark others – Jeff suggests following the lead of companies who have already found success with open innovation.

Start at the top – Early support from upper management is critical for success.

Tailor to your existing culture – Adapt your program to what works for your company and your employees.

Go where you’re wanted – Certain groups and certain leaders will be more enthusiastic about open innovation than others, so start by helping those who want your help.

Appreciate and communicate early wins – Share your early successes to help build your case for open innovation.

To learn more about the General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network, visit