Personally the concept of open innovation refers to freeing people or organisations from an existing way of working. Traditionally change has been conceived, managed or delivered by those internal to the process, those with pre-existing knowledge or connections to the subject matter.
Open innovation is most effective without limits on the area of search, the participants drawn into it or the limits of engagement. It looks to embrace the opportunities for those outside this traditional environment, those disenfranchised from the process, and bring them into a wider discussion.
Open innovation may be hinted at, paid lip service, or delivered in part. Yet failure to truly embrace it will prevent a reframing of the existing paradigm, boundaries and limitations that created a scenario requiring an innovative approach in the first place!
Levering fresh perspectives from outside a department or organisation, stakeholders, wider communities or the public can allow both the mission and purpose, as well as the solution and implementation of a business or societal problem to be fundamentally re-framed, re-conceived and re-energised to a better, more novel, or just alternative conclusion.
Those involved must be brave. Brave enough to invest in a process requiring resources, brave enough to not limit the constrains of who is engaged, and brave enough to listen to the engagement of stakeholders and then work to build an outcome that supports rather than dismisses the results.