The main challenge when implementing an Open Innovation System is building a culture of collaboration and innovation. There will be many kinds of players to deal with:

  • Active leaders are the ones which should champion the collaborative innovation initiative, explaining to everyone how it should work, as well as preaching the benefits of such practice. They should be the first to launch ideas and thought-provoking questions that spur discussion and trigger participation. In the outset, depending on the cultural context, it may be convenient to focus on an informal approach to relax the atmosphere and help people gain confidence to feel empowered, rather than pretending to rapidly obtain high-standard results.
  • Passive leaders are those whose opinion is very respected within the community, but who very seldom take the initiative. They are the ones that are asked for approval, and so their opinion is seriously taken into account. They can be expected to bring high quality insights.
  • Unconditional collaborators always respond positively to the demand for cooperation. Their value will be based on quantity rather than quality inputs.
  • Reactive collaborators collaborate as long as they receive external stimulus. They have to be persuasively encouraged to collaborate, and their behavior will depend primarily on the external pressure and their desire to be part of the group.
  • Connectors bring along an extensive network of acquaintances which may provide some missing inputs or fresh ideas external to the network.
  • Experts bring high-quality insights in specific areas of knowledge. They are people on whom the community relies and asks for advice whenever needed.
  • Freeriders are the ones who are the least likely to collaborate, as they care only about their own interests. They will only collaborate when the incentive system touches their concerns. 

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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