With the help of research consultancy, Oakland Innovation, General Mills has successfully applied ecosystem mapping to our open innovation process as a way to proactively and efficiently identify the most promising external partners.
We leveraged Oakland's ecosystem mapping process, ECOMAP (Figure 1), to allow us to efficiently evaluate and connect to an entire world of possibilities.
We've recently used ecosystem mapping to identify key partners around the globe to help us solve unique technical challenges in several health areas, including weight management.
By using ecosystem mapping, companies can effectively and efficiently help to identify new resources and build networks that allow outside influences to contribute to a culture of innovation.
Once you've fully vetted each candidate's capabilities, you can begin to strategically engage partners that align with the scope and expectations you defined early on in the ecosystem mapping process.
Remember, ecosystem mapping is about bringing in new opportunities, not necessarily removing existing partners.