Three Best Practices for Leveraging the Crowd for Idea Creation
As organizations transform by and through migrating to the cloud, they face a challenge of scaling rapidly in ever-shortening timeframes to achieve or to retain a competitive edge. This requires change management on an unprecedented, global scale and hence, requires organizations to use their resources flexibly whenever required.
This is only possible if the organization’s leadership realizes and understands the importance of leveraging the existing networks the organization has in its globally dispersed ecosystem. Leveraging networks is crucial for leaders looking to develop innovative ideas including, but not limited to the following:
- Enhancing process efficiency,
- Developing strategies for reducing friction before point of sale and shortening transaction times,
- Increasing customers benefit from easier operation, and
- Increasing business mobility (the availability and service offerings to fulfill customer needs in any location).
In the ever-changing landscape of the marketplace, leaders, alone, cannot generate innovative responses to the new challenges fast enough. They need the aid of co-innovators.
Welcome to the era of crowdsourcing ideation for business activities.
INNOVATION THROUGH CROWDSOURCING
The task of the leaders is to create the space and conditions that facilitate crowdsourced ideas. Moreover, they need to enable crowdsourcing ideation for business activities, connecting with the vast resources, then identifying and empowering those who are predestined for the desired innovative ideas.
But how can they make it happen?
Crowdsourcing ideation leadership is agile by nature. Hence, finding a standardized model of ideation is not easy. However, I believe crowdsourcing ideation leadership has been in practice long enough to conclude three best practices.
THREE BEST PRACTICES FOR CROWDSOURCING IDEATION
- Provide clear communication guidelines — Online communication should be accurate, short, to-the-point, and needs to aim its attention at the subject. Ideators should avoid irony, dialect, and specialized language that make communications vague during the idea creation process, and they must set aside their charisma and use the right language to engage each other.
- Nurture and moderate a diverse crowd — Innovation is often spontaneous and requires you to go beyond “known” people. Colleagues from all functions of your organization, partners, and customers are important, but moving beyond subject-matter experts is crucial. Bring in people who are not directly linked to the subject, but have the knowledge, experience, and local expertise or other specifications, because they are not caged by current standards and best practices and thus often bring in intuitive ideas that can be further explored. A respective moderation and communication exchange should be ensured.
- Enable every single ideator and reward exclusive ideas — Create a comfortable environment for the ideators so that they can openly share their own ideas without anxiety and concern, e.g., not being credited for their idea. Minimize herd mentality and encourage people so that they will not get influenced by their peers and follow only others’ suggestions. Reward the courage of respective contributions during the idea creation process.
Looking forward to your feedback on this blog post and sharing knowledge with you!