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Crowdsource Your Company Intelligence

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
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Disruptive technology and accelerated speed to market have converged to create an economy centered on consumer demand. By the time many businesses have created solutions to meet the demands of consumers, however, their customer base has already set their sights on something more advanced or more efficient.

As such, one of the most critical challenges that businesses face today is delivering innovation at speed. But is it possible for organizations to strike gold every time they develop a new product or service? How can businesses consistently produce innovative and effective solutions while remaining relevant in the marketplace?

Imagine if your organization had the capability to tap into a body of collective intelligence—while bypassing the inefficiencies of team brainstorming sessions and the low engagement of electronic surveys. Leveraging the problem-solving skills of your own employees in a faster, more collaborative, creative environment could accelerate your speed to market, encourage agility in adapting to changing demands, and enable you to implement more effective solutions.

Read on to learn how digitally sourcing intelligence from your employees can position your organization to adapt to evolving customer demands, shifts in the marketplace, and widespread digital disruption.

How Crowdsourcing Elevates Innovation

Crowdsourcing, according to Merriam-Webster is “the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community.”

While crowdsourcing has traditionally been executed through public-facing platforms, this model presents a number of obstacles for large organizations. Crowdsourcing intelligence from the public is likely to be inefficient and ineffective due to the fact that most people will not have a sophisticated understanding of your business proposition or your key results. Consequently, you will be forced to sift through an excess of unhelpful suggestions in the hopes of pinpointing a few valuable ideas.

On the other hand, crowdsourcing solutions from within your own ranks promotes informed innovation while cutting down labor costs and maximizing productivity in the workplace. In fact, companies winning today are able to gain a competitive edge by championing employees as vital resources for driving innovation.

Rather than conduct lengthy team brainstorming sessions to strategize solutions, instead encourage meaningful, creative collaboration at any time by implementing tools for internal digital crowdsourcing. Digital crowdsourcing enables you to tap into the wealth of knowledge at your fingertips through real-time troubleshooting and insight sharing.

A New Approach to Delivering on Topline Results

Before launching a crowdsourcing initiative — whether with the aim of overcoming an operational hurdle on a small team or strategizing ways to make structural improvements to the organization as a whole — it’s critical that all employees understand and are committed to the desired results driving the initiative forward. Without alignment around a clear set of objectives, it will be impossible to pursue collaborative problem-solving effectively.

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As such, executive-level, departmental, and team leaders are responsible for pinpointing the top three to five “must-deliver” objectives, also known as key results. Key results should be meaningful, measurable, and memorable, and leaders must communicate them clearly to every employee, creating unified movement toward shared targets.

Once leaders have successfully rallied team members around Key results, they can identify the gaps that exist between desired and actual results. These gaps are critical places to leverage creative problem-solving tactics, such as crowdsourcing, to drive progress toward Key results.

Digital Tools for Crowdsourcing Better Solutions

In recent years, the marketplace has welcomed a slew of innovative, new digital tools for augmenting and streamlining workplace operations. From platforms for basic direct messaging and video chatting to sophisticated tools for combating siloing and improving cross-departmental alignment around desired results, these tools offer unique opportunities for leveraging the knowledge, creativity, and collaborative efforts of your own talent in real-time.

Among the most powerful of these new digital solutions are those designed for internal crowdsourcing. Some involve gamified interfaces that incentivize employee participation in troubleshooting or offer anonymous forums in which employees enjoy a sense of egalitarianism.

When vetting your options, assess tools based on their ability to engage employees at all levels and empower them to participate in creative, collaborative problem-solving regardless of their department, area of expertise, or position within the organization. It may be especially useful to source tools that reward or recognize top problem-solvers and encourage increased participation.

Regardless of the digital tool you elect to implement, strategizing meaningful ways for incorporating crowdsourcing into your operational strategy can enable you to accelerate desired results while cultivating greater employee engagement and promoting accountability for delivering innovative solutions that accelerate speed to market.

Here are some social tools to consider:

Twitter. Develop innovative solutions at speed by leveraging the creative power of #crowdsourcing:

  • #Crowdsourcing solutions from your employees can help your organization develop better solutions in real time, promote achievement of desired results, and position your organization for success in competitive markets.
  • Innovate better solutions at speed through internal #crowdsourcing:

Facebook. Develop innovative solutions at speed through the power of internal crowdsourcing with digital tool for teams. By leveraging the collective intelligence of your employees, your organization can weather evolving consumer demands, shifts in the marketplace, and widespread technological disruption.

LinkedIn. Crowdsource solutions to your most challenging organizational problems with a solutions-driven digital tool for teams.

About the Author

Craig Hickman has authored 17 books, among them such international bestsellers as The Oz Principle, Creating Excellence, Mind of a Manager Soul of a Leader, The Strategy Game, Fix It, and The Insiders. He is a Harvard MBA with honors, former CEO of Headwaters Technology Innovation (NYSE:HW), founder of the consulting firm Management Perspectives Group, and currently futurist and SVP of new product development at Partners In Leadership, the premier provider of accountability and culture change services worldwide. His clients include many of the Fortune 1000 companies.

About the Author

Mark Grosser is the director of learning and innovation at Partners In Leadership, the premier provider of accountability and culture change services wordwide. He led the development of the Propeller® app—the first digital tool designed to engage and align teams around owning and delivering their top-line results. With 25 years of experience in business, academic, and K-12 settings, Mark is an award-winning creator of interactive training and digital tools that embed learning, foster innovation, drive personal and organizational accountability, and facilitate culture change.

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