Open Innovation

Solve your organization’s problems by looking outside your organization

In Open Innovation, you will learn strategies for finding the best ideas, solutions, and people necessary to solve your organization’s most difficult problems.

Featuring faculty from:
October 2022
6 weeks
2-4 hours per week
Certificate Price
Program Dates
Applications Close
March 2023
6 weeks
2-4 hours per week
Certificate Price
Program Dates
Applications Close
Enroll in Open Innovation Today

What You'll Learn

What do you do when your organization can’t solve a problem on its own? Are you paying for effort instead of solutions? Is your organization stuck?

Strategic problem solving is a key element in innovation and vital to an organization’s success and growth. Open innovation is a strategy that suggests the best ideas, solutions, and people necessary to solve your organization’s difficult problems may come from outside your company entirely. Through open innovation, organizations can connect with talented people and breakthrough ideas from across the globe. Whether you’re developing a new product, responding to the changing workforce, or simply looking for new ideas, you can use open innovation to find answers and solutions in areas you didn’t expect. 

Open innovation is already all around you. The top companies around the world have figured out how to use the wisdom of the crowd to help them create products and services that we use on a daily basis—from your smartphone apps to Wikipedia. This course presents a foundational understanding of open innovation, helping you not only solve some of your most difficult problems, but also gain access to a pool of talent that goes far beyond your organization's walls. By examining the different types of open innovation—contests, crowdsourcing, collaborative communities, and online labor markets—you’ll begin to develop a plan to adopt and implement open innovation in your organization. Through videos, real-world case studies, and peer interaction, you’ll explore when and why to implement new solutions, how to operationalize and protect proprietary ideas, and, most importantly, how to identify the problems you’re trying to solve and address them with open innovation. 

Your next big idea might come from where you least expect it. Don’t think behind closed doors. Let open innovation in.

The course will be delivered via HBS Online’s course platform and immerse learners in real-world examples from experts at industry-leading organizations. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the concept of open innovation and how it works
  • Analyze the types of problems that can be solved with open innovation and how to decouple problems from solutions
  • Identify and understand ​the challenges and ethical considerations of open innovation, such as intellectual property rights
  • Match your business problem to the right approach, contests, crowdsourcing, collaborative communities, or online labor market
  • Implement an open innovation strategy in your organization, including how to identify and access outside resources, helping you stay ahead of the competition

Your Instructor

Karim R. Lakhani is the Dorothy & Michael Hintze Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He specializes in technology management, innovation, digital transformation and artificial intelligence (AI). He has taught extensively in Harvard Business School’s MBA, executive, doctoral and online programs. He has co-developed new courses on Digital Innovation & Transformation, Digital Strategy and Innovation, and Laboratory to Market. Karim is also the founder and co-director of the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard, as well as the principal investigator of the NASA Tournament Laboratory.

Real World Case Studies

Affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.

Jin Paik Photo

Jin Paik

Hear from a researcher how open innovation can find new solutions for your organization.

Luis Villa Photo - Myleen Hollero / Wikimedia Foundation, CC BY-SA 3.0

Luis Villa

Find out how open innovation can attract talented employees to your organization.

Lynn Buquo Photo

Lynn E. Buquo

Learn how NASA is adopting open innovation into their organization.

Who Will Benefit

Icon Changemaker

Research and Development Teams

Access resources and learn how to find new ideas for products and solutions



Discover how to leverage the crowd and find the next breakthrough idea systematically

Leader Icon

Innovative Leaders

Grow your business by knowing when and how to integrate open innovation into your organization

Earn Your Certificate

Enroll today in Harvard Online's Open Innovation course.

Apply Now

Still Have Questions?

Are there discounts available for this course? What are the learning requirements? How do I list my certificate on my resume? Learn the answers to these and more in our FAQs.


Open Innovation Certificate

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