In the last month the business news have been dominated by the conflict between Apple and Masimo. Apple, instead of cooperating with Masimo, has chosen to enter in conflict with them. In our consulting our client had similar experiences.
These conflicts are not the only choice and are not necessary. Companies can always choose to cooperate instead of entering into a conflict. Their conflicts are always very destructive not only for the companies involved but for the customers also. They block innovation for everyone. In case of Masimo, important medical innovation was blocked.
Why conflicts happen is hard to know. In my understanding, conflicts are chosen by few individuals who, at the moment, did not know what else to do, and were under a lot of pressure to perform. Conflict was the easiest choice in the short term. Their reflex is to attack, not to cooperate.
This is why open innovation is important. The more companies adopt open innovation, the easier it is for them to cooperate. They will have staff, processes, and platforms which make it easy for them to cooperate. This will drastically reduce decisions to enter in conflicts. The reflex under pressure will be to cooperate, not to attack.
If both Apple and Masimo practiced open innovation properly, they would most likely cooperate instead of entering into a conflict. This would be more beneficial for both companies and – most importantly – it would provide medical innovation to all of their customers.
Open innovation is a method to reduce conflict between companies, competitors, big and small, and to increase their cooperation. Open innovation, when fully adopted by owners, top managers, middle managers, all staff, in all companies, will exponentially boost cooperation and value creation for customers, while reducing conflict and innovation blocking.
The more companies prepare for conflict, the less they prepare to innovate and cooperate. Role of open innovation is to reduce conflict and make cooperation a dominant strategy for all companies.