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For years now, we’ve all heard (and maybe even repeated) the platitudes about how much innovation is happening outside the walls of company the smartest people in the world don’t work for much value there is in building an ecosystem of players that can leverage each other's strengths.

But over the past five years, a small group of companies have moved beyond understanding the buzzwords and mastering the concepts. They’ve actually been forging new kinds of partnerships, collaborations, and ecosystems —getting outside of the building to tap new sources of ideas and go-to-market capabilities.

In this report, we highlight data from 257 innovation professionals on co-creation and ecosystem development, specifically with a focus on the value, internal players, and role models associated with these approaches. The report includes perspectives from innovation leaders at Boeing, Marriott, Southern Company, Johnson & Johnson, Ericsson, and IBM, as well as case studies from Cisco, Vodafone, Bayer, and more. See the full table of contents below!

Master Class: Co-Creation & Ecosystem Development

Join us on May 16 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET for a webcast with Andy Michuda, President and CEO of the consulting firm Sopheon. Michuda will discuss how your company can build new kinds of partnerships, collaborations, and ecosystems. Other topics include tapping new sources of ideas and creating new go-to-market capabilities. Innovation Leader editor-in-chief Scott Kirsner will also participate to share some data from our research report, “Co-Creation and Ecosystem Development.”

Thursday, May 16 from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. ETLearn more and register »

Case Studies & Advice

Leaders from J&J, Marriott, Southern Company, IBM, and more discuss their approaches. Plus, direct advice from survey respondents on what works.


We asked 257 innovation professionals about their experience with co-creation and ecosystem development.

Thought Leadership

Our sponsor for this report, Sopheon, provides expertise on innovation ecosystems as an evolving and growing opportunity.

This report is for Innovation Leader members only. To learn more about becoming a member or to get a PDF excerpt of the report, please email, or visit

Already a member? Login here »

Sample data from the 35-page report:

What's Inside:

Introduction & Data Overview

Co-creation and Innovation Ecosystems: No Longer Optional 3

Defining Co-Creation and Ecosystems  4

Co-Creation Leads to Productive Partnerships  5

From Respondents: The Value We Get From Co-Creation  8

Ecosystem Investments Need a Clear Objective  10

From Respondents: The Challenges of Co-Creation  10

From Respondents: Ecosystem Metrics  12

A Platform Approach Can Create Promising Ecosystems  14

From Respondents: Co-creation Advice  15

All Collaborative Innovation Will Develop Platform Elements 16

From Respondents: Advice on Creating & Participating in Ecosystems  18


Sopheon: Innovation Ecosystems − An Evolving and Growing Opportunity  20

Case Studies

Co-creation Methodology Map, from Vodafone and Thomson Reuters  23

Cisco’s Model for a Bootcamp that Brings Multiple Companies Together to Innovate  24

How Business Units Get Involved with J&J’s Network of Innovation Centers 27

Inside Xerox’s ‘Dreaming Sessions’ with Customers  30

How Bayer is Cultivating an Ecosystem of Consumer Health Startups  32

Download the excerpt:

Co-creation & Ecosystem Report