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Welcome to the ReBrick blog! Your one-stop destination for the updates and development on ReBrick. Check back every Monday to read the ReBrick'er of the Week article, and come back Friday to find out the most popular bookmarks of the week. Of course, don't forget to stop by in-between then for any other news! Got questions, concerns, or general feedback? Leave us a comment!

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23rd july 2014 at 07:56

 “I think the future of great design is about harnessing the collective intelligence of the crowd.”

Stiven Kerestegian is a Senior Manager, Open Innovation in the LEGO® Group. He orchestrates the Open Innovation strategy, eco-system and toolbox. The LEGO Group has been working with open innovation for a long time, but when the decision was made to actually systematize this capability by creating an Open Innovation department, Stiven was a founding member.

But what exactly is Open Innovation?

“That’s actually very easy; Open Innovation is innovating outside of the traditional boundaries of corporate organizations,” Stiven explains. “Corporate organizations traditionally have a group of individuals that are working on designing new products or solving an issue. You hire employees, you hire creators and they are the ones to solve these problems. And that is the traditional way of doing things.”

“Open innovation is reaching beyond the traditional borders. It can be employees doing something outside their specific area of expertise. It can be reaching out to fans, as the LEGO Group has done historically, for ideas on great new sets or innovation of new products. Or it can be collaborating with external companies”.

“One of the really interesting things about open innovation is that you can’t really prognosticate what type of value you are going to get. So you create a great experience or a great touch point for people to collaborate or participate. And then from that value is created,” Stiven tells us.

One example of Open Innovation that Stiven has been involved in is the new LEGO Ideas platform:

“LEGO Ideas as we know it today wouldn’t be a reality if we didn’t have the pilot experience with CUUSOO and all the internal cross departmental collaboration that was required to make this happen. It’s all part of a whole.”

Open Innovation is not a new concept.  Academics have been writing about it for over 10 years. But LEGO Group is one of the few companies that has been able to take that theory into actual practice. 

“We don’t have a secret recipe,” he reveals. “We try a lot of things. Some of them work, some of them don’t. But you just keep building on top of the ones that work.”

“The important thing is to align the motivation of the participants with whatever it is that the company is trying to achieve. If you don’t have this balance between what you give and what you receive  - what you are putting into it and what you are getting in return – it’s not going to last,” Stiven explains. 

“As long as someone has a great idea that is in line with the values of the company and it doesn’t interfere or cannibalize any of the existing lines or intentions, then why wouldn’t we support them?”

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