Although the concept of “open innovation” has been expanding its reach into corporate and government R&D laboratories, many organizations still struggle with this paradigm shift. A key challenge can be overcoming the unwillingness to accept ideas/technologies from outside sources. Communicating the value of open innovation clearly and effectively with program managers is essential. Extensive research and first-hand experience indicate that a three-phase, customer-focused approach similar to that used in new product development is effective. This paper presents this three-phase strategy.