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Henry Chesbrough      

Professor, UC Berkeley Haas Business School

Occasionally, someone innovates the discipline of innovation. Henry Chesbrough is one of those people. He is the first person to clearly define the new innovation strategy that is restructuring r&d worldwide—open innovation. Open innovation seeks and develops new ideas found outside your own organization and to license to others your own intellectual property.

 In his groundbreaking 2002 book Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology, Chesbrough explains why open innovation makes sense and how to structure your innovation strategy to take advantage of its opportunities.

His next book (due in November), Open Business Models: How to Thrive in the New Innovation Environment, describes how to develop business models that successfully take advantage of the value that open innovation offers.

He also has co-edited a book (released June 2006) entitled Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm, a collection of research on this exciting new approach to r&d.

Henry has a unique background as both a practitioner and a researcher. He spent ten years in senior product planning and strategic marketing positions in Silicon Valley. Equally at home in product marketing and sales, in engineering and technology, and in academic research, his current work brings all these worlds together.

Henry Chesbrough is a professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas Business School, where he teaches and runs the Center for Open Innovation, a center on managing innovation and intellectual property.

Research and development has traditionally been securely sequestered inside vertically integrated organizations. No more. A new environment has emerged in which good ideas that could be—and should be—essential to your enterprise can be found almost anywhere but inside your own organization.

“Open innovation” leverages this knowledge available outside the organization to your advantage, as venture capitalists do. His comprehensive approach focuses on both the internal factors and the external trends that shape a company’s innovation success.

Most leaders approach getting ideas to market as they would a game of chess, in which everyone can see all the pieces and the game is to anticipate the competition’s moves while coming up with innovative moves of your own. Instead, says Chesbrough, we should think of strategic planning and budgeting as poker, because you really don’t know even your own hand, let alone everyone else’s, and you have to pay to get more information. In short, you have to have the mindset of a venture capitalist.

With this new strategic philosophy and his descriptions of the many options available to companies that embrace open innovation, Henry Chesbrough is transforming the r&d and business strategy landscape.

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