Quality Hunters was a project by Finavia and Finnair, aimed at finding improvement opportunities for Helsinki Airport and Finnair. It ran for 2 seasons and an addendum. I participated in season 2.
Here’s how season 2 worked, more or less. After a selection procedure, 7 bloggers were selected to travel the routes of Finnair for a month, reporting on anything they could find in their respective categories. The categories, of course, were about areas in which both Finavia as Finnair thought they could improve their products and services. The 7 Quality Hunters would blog about their findings, which would be a starting point for the wider community to discuss about service improvement at the airport and the airline. From the community, one member was selected to join the 7 Quality Hunters in the final week. I had the good fortune of being selected the 8th Quality Hunter.
As a final touch, the Quality Hunters were asked to prepare a presentation with the best things they found, and what they would recommend, for a meeting of staff from both Finavia (the company running Helsinki Airport) and Finnair.
I also participated in the addendum, or season 3, which had a completely different setup. Active participants from season 2 were invited to join workshops in Helsinki, to define new and improved services.
This example shows, there are several ways to ‘do’ open innovation. Although there are quite a few differences with the OpenIDEO approach, I also noticed two important similarities. First of all, both versions of open innovation are based on a well-defined structure, of which parts are open to the public to contribute. Secondly, one of the big reasons the Quality Hunters project was successful, was their unrelenting focus on engaging community members. On all social channels available, there would be a constant stream of information, discussions, but also targeted challenges. The community managers really put a great effort in addressing their audience on a very personal level. It was inspiring, and in my experience, drove participation.
What are other incarnations of open innovation you came across?
What do you think are elements that can make or break an open innovation process?
More about Quality Hunters here.