Innovating Innovation: Practicing Open Innovation in UGBA 190T

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to brainstorm innovative ideas with a Senior Executive? Well at the Haas School of Business, you can. We are lucky to have the renowned Dr. Henry Chesbrough, the father of Open Innovation, as the Faculty Director of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation. He is the first person to truly take innovation to a new level by innovating innovation.

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 9.58.37 PM

Each semester, six companies from the Berkeley Innovation Forum are chosen to participate in the UGBA 190T Open Business Models and Open Innovation class taught by Professor Solomon Darwin, Executive Director of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation. The lucky six companies for Fall 2014 are: Coke, Wipro, Optum United Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Fujitsu, and GE. Senior Executives from these companies submitted their challenges to the students and are now serving as mentors for the semester long projects.

Steve Myers, CTO of Optum United Healthcare, in middle with the UGBA 190T class
Steve Myers, CTO of Optum United Healthcare, in middle with the UGBA 190T class

I signed up for UGBA 190T because I have only heard great things about the course. There are endless amounts of opportunities to interact with Senior Executives as well as learn from the knowledgeable Professor Darwin. The class culminates on December 11th, 2014 with the final Day of Judgment. On this day, the Senior Executives judge the six teams and vote on a winning business model presentation.

The GE team staying after class to refine their business models
The GE team staying after class to refine their business models

We are currently in the phase of exploring our new company business models. Professor Darwin has lectured the class on Open Innovation concepts and processes to give us the foundation to create high quality models. The teams have also consulted with their mentors in a series of 6am conference calls to enhance their models. Professor Darwin has us create business models and analyze them to teach us to be adaptable in our approach. Too often companies get attached to their ideas and fail to innovate. Open Innovation is all about breaking down closed silos and opening up to both outside and inside knowledge. In the upcoming weeks, we will present to each other in class to seek external ideas to even further polish our models.

Cheers,

Alexandra Mezouari
Class of 2016

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s