Potential Challenges to Crowdsourcing and a Better Approach

The conventional model of crowdsourcing ideas for your innovation initiatives has a number of built-in problems, according to author Will Burns: You don’t know who is submitting ideas, and there’s a lot of wasted energy, which could be better invested in having participants collaborate on creating one big, game-changing idea instead of thousands of little ones.

Will Burns has three crowd-sized issues with crowdsourcing, all having to do with what it’s sourcing: One, the crowd part. With crowdsourcing you have no idea who is doing the creating when you’re throwing your brief out to its unvetted masses. Could be cousin Eddie from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for all we know.

Two, the competition. You may have a crowd, but all of them are competing against each other for the winning idea versus working together to come up with something bigger than any of them could on their own. Plus, you must wade through thousands of “ideas” in order to find one great one.

Three, the creative injustice. With only one winner, the rest of the participants are wasting their time. That’s a lot of unproductive, unpaid creative time going to waste.

Four, there is a corporate risk releasing your creative brief to the masses. Who’s to say a competitive sympathizer isn’t among the unvetted ranks working on your assignment?

His solution: Gather a group of the best thinkers he has ever worked with in his career, and have them work together, riffing off of each other’s ideas, to create much more valuable ideas with much less wasted effort.

Read full article » www.forbes.com/sites/willburns…

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