Innovation has become synonymous with new technologies, social media, apps, and gadgets. All these things result from countless hours of conceptual work, discussions, and trial and error. 

None of this would ever be possible without open-minded, curious people who are ever hungry for more knowledge. So if you want innovation, you should invest in people.




  • converge – come together from different directions so as eventually to meet
  • relevant – closely connected or appropriate to the matter at hand
  • obsolete – no longer produced or used; out of date
  • intangible – unable to be touched or grasped; not having physical presence
  • commensurate – corresponding in size or degree; in proportion
  • discount – regard (a possibility, fact, or person) as being unworthy of consideration because it lacks credibility 
  • indispensable – absolutely necessary


Think about it 

Answer the questions below.

  • What does a company’s innovation capacity boil down to?
  • What is the point of open innovation and how did the author contribute to the industry of innovation?
  • What essential point have some managers missed? 
  • What two kinds of education should be invested in?
  • Why do many companies fail to see the importance of investing in employee education and training?


Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the correct forms of the words in CAPS.

I can see how this ________ FOUND requirement — good education and ________ GO training of people – has been obscured. Innovation is emerging as an industry of its own; an ever increasing number of suppliers provide a wide range of products and services to help companies be more ________ CREATE, ________ COLLABORATE, and ________ INVENT.  I’ve contributed to the development of this industry myself with NineSigma, which is responsible for a large part of how open innovation is practiced today. Indeed, the whole point of open innovation is to encourage and enable companies to look beyond their internal _______ SOURCE and capabilities and engage with external sources of ideas and ________ SOLVE.


Fill in the blank spaces. 

But I am afraid that some company managers ________ missed the essential point ________ these products and services – that they are designed to work ________ a group’s basic strengths in innovation. ________ the most part, such tools assume that a firm has ________ existing talent pool with the intellectual capacity to generate ideas and turn them ________ value.  Even open innovation requires maintaining a strong internal competency ________ understand, qualify, and integrate the externally sourced solutions.


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