Open innovation is always present in all companies, but is often not documented, not recognized, informal, and invisible. It always increases growth but is not connected to it – problems are discovered, solutions are designed, partnerships are created in situations which are not connected to open innovation. This usually happens in physical meetings such as sales and fairs.
Now, with the rapid change and digitalization caused by the Coronavirus crisis, companies stopped doing all those informal and invisible things. This is a risk because they are not aware of what is missing, what is lost with the change, and they are not able to replace it. They collected valuable market and innovation knowledge in physical meetings which are not replaced with digital alternatives.
Even if it appears that your company was not using open innovation, you should assume that it had some benefits from the invisible open innovation. In such case adding formal digital open innovation processes and tools now will show results such as increased market knowledge, discovery of new problems, increased cooperations with customers and partners, and finally improvements and additions to the product portfolio.