In order to leverage a world-wide community in problem solving, Open Innovation Competitions have been hosted by companies. It has been found that the types of problems that are best suited for such competitions are:
1. Big insurmountable challenges that really need out-of-the-box thinking.
2. Finding solutions which are assemblies of known technologies. How the solution is assembled can be breakthrough, but less successful when key elements do not exist.
3. Areas in which the company does not already have a depth of experience.
4. Areas at the extremes which are either (a) very well-defined needs or (b) generic problems which require less business or domain understanding.
5. Emerging areas where there is not deep industrial expertise.
The jury is still out in this area. Some organizations have had tremendous success in finding breakthrough ideas whereas others have struggled to both (a) find new ideas, as well as, (b) surmount internal barriers to implement the resulting concepts. One of the best reported outcomes is that it opens an organization’s eyes to different ways to do things. He challenges an organization to question the approaches typically used to generating ideas. There is also a side benefit that the Corporation shins image tends to benefit from the publicity around the contest.