For years now, we’ve all heard (and maybe even repeated) the platitudes about how much innovation is happening outside the walls of company headquarters…how the smartest people in the world don’t work for you…how 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!

Sample Data

Table of Contents 

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