IXC's Crowdsourcing Solutions for your Innovation Strategy

What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is broadly a technique that leverages the vast potential of the wisdom and resources of the crowd. Depending on the desired outcomes, crowdsourcing can enable idea generation, building and sharing knowledge, user-generated content, crowdfunding, and outsourced labour.

Who should use Crowdsourcing?

Traditionally, and in the strictest sense, the term ‘crowdsourcing’ did not include the vast resource of knowledge from employees or suppliers – only from crowdsourcers outside of, and unrelated to, the organisation. Yet with current trends leaning towards: 

  • larger and more diverse supply bases
  • bigger companies
  • global offices
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • more freelancers
  • higher employee churn…

… it certainly makes sense to work with the wisdom of the crowd of employees and suppliers as well as outside the organisation to source valuable ideas as part of an innovation strategy.    

Lego crowd

How does Crowdsourcing help Innovation?

In the innovation sphere, crowdsourcing perfectly complements an open innovation strategy by facilitating the flow of ideas into an organisation.   

As mentioned above, do not forget however the invaluable, existing internal resource. In IXC’s experience as innovation consultants to multinational companies, the larger the company the harder it is for that company to source ideas and solutions internally. In many cases, it is easier for the company to look externally than internally. 
Employees may be viewed as ‘siloed’ – separate departments with nothing to add to the other silos. This is a wasted resource, because with the constant moving of people around, in, and out of organizations, companies are not capturing what ‘they’ know.  
Good internal ideas will not just appear without any process or structure in place, and this is where crowdsourcing tools can help stimulate ideation and innovation.  

 

How does IXC apply Crowdsourcing?

To provide this necessary process and structure of managing the ideas and knowledge of the crowd – be this the public, customers, employees, suppliers, citizens, etc. – we work with fellow innovation specialists Ideas4all to assess and define the necessary strategy and desired outcomes, design the most relevant process to apply and provide and manage a dedicated crowdsourcing platform.  

This already has proven success in the finance, energy, and local government sectors with clients including Santander, Repsol, IBM, KPMG, AXA, AstraZeneca, Vodafone, Heinekin and Nestle. These crowdsourcing campaigns consist of not only the platform to ask the targeted crowd for their ideas, suggestions, and comments, but also the correct tactical support for the innovation strategy to ensure the crowdsourcing campaign process asks the right questions, and filters and evaluates the answers effectively.  

What are the Benefits of Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing platforms can be a very useful tool in pursuing innovation and in securing customer, stakeholder, and employee engagement. This approach can encourage and secure collaboration, harnessing the insights and wisdom of these valuable contributors. 

By taking advantage of the collective brain in open innovation thought collaboration, innovation managers using this crowdsourcing platform have reported:

  • the identification of single ideas producing recurrent profits of more than 2M€ per year 
  • outstanding culture integration tool in diverse multinational environments 
  • a successful forum to help drive forward one of Europe’s first prototype smart cities. 

Crowdsourcing "has broken hierarchical barriers…. More than 100 ideas with potential business impact when implemented.” –  KPMG

“We have exceeded by far our already high expectations. More than 9,000 ideas when best expectations were 1,000.” – Repsol
 

For further information about Crowdsourcing for executives and those driving change programmes and stakeholder engagement, please contact our team on: 0121 250 5717 or email: connect@ixc-uk.com.

 

Related information:

See IXC and Ideas4All's latest Innovation Forum on Crowdsourcing.