Open Innovation is actually part of the destination’s innovation strategy, as is explained in the following innovation roadmap, which consists of five main steps:

  • Create an innovation team. Before thinking about Open Innovation, top executive efforts have to be concentrated inside the organization, by developing a group of innovation leaders throughout all areas of the organization, strongly supported by the top executives. Further, they have to make them work as a team, also identifying their weaknesses and providing the necessary support in key skill development.
  • Define a vision to foster innovation. In order to engage employees into an innovation mindset shift it is necessary to define what the destination wants to become and achieve in the future, as well as define the strategy path to attain all the desired achievements. The strategy path needs to have innovation at its core, and all the organization’s members have to feel empowered and stimulated to participate actively. A clear vision of the desired future with a well-defined and coherent strategic pathway is essential to inspire will and confidence among all stakeholders in order to move them to take action.
  • Develop innovation communities. Once the inner stakeholders are engaged, it is time to structure the human capital into innovation communities related to different interests, where innovators and stakeholders from outside the organization are also invited to participate, thus integrating open innovation in the corporate innovation strategy. As has been scientifically proven, building innovation teams related to specific interests is the most likely successful formula to make innovation thrive. Despite the common interest, members of every community should represent all functional disciplines and also be diverse in terms of seniority, to bring in different approaches to innovation.
  • Get wins and celebrate them to trigger further engagement. Selling the vision is the first step in engaging stakeholders, but only when the vision roadmap starts to become reality through visible wins, are the mainstream stakeholders likely to believe that the matter truly deserves their attention and effort. So the innovation roadmap should be structured in stages with their correspondent milestones, so as to help stakeholders see the progress being carried out and create confidence and engagement with the innovation roadmap. It is also convenient to set very attainable milestones at the beginning and publicly reward its contributors in order to motivate others.
  • Creating performance-centricity through building an Innovation Culture. Once the innovation framework is created, and the organization has started to thrive through the innovation roadmap by getting the first achievements and building engagement throughout the stakeholder system, the final challenge is to build a culture of collaboration and innovation to further improve the innovation performance. The White Paper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation” explains in detail the benefits and the strategies to develop both the collaborative and innovative mindset throughout the organization and external stakeholders, in order to boost the innovation performance.

This article is from the White Paper “Envisioning Open Innovation in Destinations”, available for download in

Posted by Jordi Pera

Jordi Pera is an economist passionate about tourism, strategy, marketing, sustainability, business modelling and open innovation. He has international experience in marketing, intelligence research, strategy planning, business model innovation and lecturing, having developed most of his career in the tourism industry. Jordi is keen on tackling innovation and strategy challenges that require imagination, entail thoughtful analysis and are to be solved with creative solutions.

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