Crowdsourcers and Innovators Discover and Share Best Practice
Earlier this month, innovation professionals from diverse sectors met to explore and analyse the effective implementation of crowdsourcing campaigns.
Innovation consultants, IXC UK (InnovationXChange®) and crowdsourcing specialists Ideas4all, hosted the event and shared their expertise alongside active users of crowdsourcing techniques.
What is Crowdsourcing?
As a component within an innovation strategy, crowdsourcing is essentially the process of leveraging the vast potential of the wisdom and resource of the crowd: asking a group of people for their ideas, suggestions, solutions, comments, for example.
Crowdsourcing in Practice
IXC’s Innovation Forum- an afternoon dedicated to the theme of crowdsourcing- included invited speakers from the finance and energy sectors:
Carlos Alonso (Innovation Director, Sabadell Bank, Spain)
and Juan Luis Rodriguez Sanchez del Alamo (Deputy Director of Innovation at energy group Repsol).
These innovation managers both presented case studies of their application of crowdsourcing platforms to engage their workforce for ideation to identify and develop future business- products, services, and processes.
Innovative Tools and Ideas: Shared
Their talks ignited discussion among the specially invited innovation group, made up of innovators from the food, fashion, retail, transport, finance, and health sectors, including:
- food giant and Cadburys owner- Mondelez
- household name, fashion and food retailer- Marks and Spencer
- transport trade body- the Rail Industry Association
- high street bank- Santander
- global medical technology firm- GE Healthcare
- pharmacy-led health and wellbeing enterprise- Walgreens Boots Alliance
How to make Crowdsourcing a Successful part of your Innovation Strategy
This innovation group event outlined the following requirements to ensure successful deployment of crowdsourcing:
- senior level buy-in and support (we’re talking C-suite)
- awareness-raising marketing, communications and events to encourage and maintain participation (this is the ideal opportunity to widen the pipeline of participants in the Crowdsourcing Platform to outside the business workforce and across other industry sectors and suppliers)
- transparency and engagement with the workforce participating in the ideation activity
- emphasis on the benefit of tangible, and more importantly intangible, rewards for participants and ideas
- recognise and enable the investment required in resources such as staff time, effort, management etc in the successful use of Crowdsourcing Platforms
- plan up front how the ideas generated are going to be assessed and set out an implementation plan for those selected as viable to go forward
- feedback for every submission, not just those that go forward
- planning the approach to have clarity on the business’ innovation aspirations and strategy (i.e. to strike the balance of near-term ideas (incremental) and long-term ideas (transformational))
This crowdsourcing-themed innovation forum confirmed that crowdsourcing platforms can be effective if carefully thought-out and planned. Essentially, crowdsourcing tools are just that: a tool. And as with any tool, success hinges upon how it is used and when- if it is to deliver value.
Therefore, the use of crowdsourcing must be driven from the overall strategic innovation plan of a business. In this way, crowdsourcing platforms can underpin change and transformation agenda in global operations.
Are you ready to find out more about Crowdsourcing?
For further information on how our innovation consultants can develop your innovation strategy and help you connect and collaborate, please contact our team on: 0121 250 5717 or email: [email protected].
Russ Noble, Business Development Director, IXC UK