As companies grow and enter more markets, their customer relationships are more and more narrow, rigid, and automated. Questions asked by companies to their customers are simplified for the sake of more efficient processes and automation. Sales is narrowed down to “Will you buy?” which allows YES or NO answer (e-commerce, call centers), while marketing uses a bigger variety of questions which still offer binary and narrow choices: likes, shares, and rates. Armies of investors, managers, designers, programmers, psychologists, sociologists, and consultants are educated to lower the quality of communication in exchange for quantity.
Open innovation is a return to more human creative communication between companies and customers because it uses questions which can not be reduced. The main question of open innovation is “How can we make this better?” Once we ask or are asked this question we feel a noticeable change in our attitude. It is different, engaging, hopeful, and positive. It makes the communication more fun, instead of making us feel like we are going through a meaningless checklist.
Not all binary communication is bad, but companies that force customers into binary communication way will definitely lose some of its creativity and growth.