It is now more crucial than ever to have a well-defined innovation strategy. Businesses must have an innovation culture that is constantly looking for new ways to address customer needs to keep up with the modern professional landscape. One way to do that is through crowdsourced innovation. Despite their best efforts, executives and stakeholders can lose touch with their customers’ expectations and fail to innovate. This can be avoided by enlisting the help of employees, partners, and customers to generate new ideas and solutions. Crowdsourcing can be extremely effective when used in the right place at the right time. No wonder almost every industry on the planet is talking about crowdsourcing.
Crowdsourced Innovation and its Benefits.
• Crowd Innovation
Crowd innovation entails gathering vital information from a large group of people unaffiliated with the company. This approach, known as “crowdsourcing,” works best when you’re trying to come up with new ways to solve complex problems or cut down on time-consuming operations. Jeff Howe coined the term “crowdsourcing” in a 2006 article describing the practice. Though crowdsourcing has existed in some form for centuries, it gained popularity around the same time that e-commerce, social media, and smartphone culture did. The increased communication between people all over the world is largely responsible for the growing interest in the activity. Even though this strategy has been proven to be effective, many businesses have yet to put it into practice.
• Effective Crowdsourcing of Innovation
Organization leaders believe that innovation is a very important component of a successful growth strategy. But recognizing the importance of innovation and innovating are two different things. The biggest concern for any executive in an organization is to come up with new, innovative ideas. This is where crowdsourcing comes into play. Most organizations already use crowdsourcing, but not as effectively as they should. Many businesses turn to crowdsource when they need something immediately. If time is limited, an open community may be unable to conduct thorough research and produce well-conceived, well-thought-out, fully developed ideas. Either the organization should extend the deadline or hire an in-house team that understands the need, requirements, and deadline.
To crowdsource a project successfully, a company must first divide it into smaller micro-tasks. Remote workers will then join to tackle the micro-tasks one by one and effectively speed up the process. A business may use a digital space known as a crowdsourcing platform to bring these remote workers together in one place and assign them micro-tasks. For more complex tasks that require workers with specific skills, the company may use a more specialized industry-specific platform. For example, if a company wants to collect customer data, it might use social media or another consumer-facing platform for crowdsourcing information. The methodology used and the goal of the process determine the benefits of crowd innovation. When properly designed, it has been shown to improve the effectiveness of enterprises and organizations, assist firms in improving customer interactions, increase target group satisfaction with results, and identify ideas outside the box when properly set up.
Some of the well-defined Innovation Strategies:
• Think Outside the Box
One of the most significant barriers to continual innovation is the silo mentality. It stifles the flow of information and ideas within the business, limiting teams from learning from outside viewpoints and acquiring key insights. Employees in an organization do not have to be the only ones who can innovate. An organization can tap into the collective knowledge of a wider crowd, and input can be sourced from a large and undefined group of people. Customers, suppliers, strategic partners, and even competitors are all excellent sources for finding ideas and solutions.
• Bringing ideas to life
Following the gathering of several good suggestions through crowdsourcing, these ideas should now be put into action. Organizations should track the progress of ideas throughout their life cycle, which can be done by examining the value that their ideas bring to their organizations. Value can be measured monetarily in terms of profit and revenue, as well as in terms of improved behaviors and attitudes. It’s also crucial to remember that everyone is responsible for innovation. Everyone in the firm, from the leaders to the employees, should play an equal role in promoting innovation. It works best when crowdsourced innovation is used to change a company’s culture rather than just generate ideas and solutions.
• Delivering Innovation
Finally, companies must use technology to ensure that ideas and solutions are documented. This is possible with the help of an innovation management platform. With the right innovation management software, employees, customers, partners, and anyone else who can add value to an organization can all contribute to innovation.
An example of a company that used Crowdsourced Innovation to create VALUE:
Customers were asked to share their favourite new potato chip flavor for PepsiCo’s Lay’s brand. After the millennial market share began to decline in 2012, the ‘Do Us a Flavor’ campaign was launched. An incredible 14 million submissions were received. As a result of this ingenious crowdsourced innovation initiative, sales increased by 8%.
Working with others to create and develop knowledge is a vital part of the growth process for individuals, organizations, and society. We can take these creative processes to the next level with modern technology at our fingertips. So, while planning a crowdsourcing project, consider what motivates the audience and what this means for the ideas. The key to unlocking crowdsourcing’s innovative potential is not only to empower everyone and collect as many ideas as possible but also to create an incentive structure that attracts the right people.
About the Author:
Manish Chand Thakur is working as an Analyst with Quadrant Knowledge Solutions. He tracks the global markets in Data Analytics & AI domain and is working individually on consulting and research projects. Manish holds a Post-Graduation in Business Analytics from Sri Balaji University (Pune, India) and B.E in Mechanical Engineering from ITM University (Gwalior, India).