But with the advent of the internet and online collaboration, things like intellectual property, organizational boundaries, and the identification of new markets became a much more public and shared experience. The boundaries that once separated different disciplines, organizations (even competitors) began to dissolve and innovation opened up to become a much more collaborative process.
But how did this change come about? Why has crowdsourcing ideas, research, and talent from a global employee base become much more common even at the enterprise level?
The boundaries that once separated different disciplines, organizations (even competitors) began to dissolve…
Henry Chesbrough (who popularized the term “open innovation”) posited that there were four main reasons why we moved away from closed innovation: “the increased mobility of skilled workers, the expansion of venture capital, external options for unused technologies, and the increased availability of high-capable outsourcing partners.”
Now, with a global workforce and the online tools that allow them to collaborate instantly, across language barriers from anywhere, engaging huge groups of employees in the innovation process is not only possible, it’s preferable to letting all the change happen behind closed doors with the folks in lab coats.
Employee engagement programs that are focused on innovation have numerous benefits to the business, including:
But the workforce is changing at the same pace as the rest of business. By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce and top-line revenue growth will depend on the ideas of an engaged workforce. And Millennials are different than their predecessors. Engagement doesn’t mean that there’s an employee suggestion box and that everyone says they’re happy on the job. Employee engagement impacts programs, culture, and leadership. Specifically, employee crowdsourcing innovation programs must be digital, clear, fluid, and fast. But to learn more about how to achieve these qualities, we recommend that you read When Millennials Take Over: Preparing for the Ridiculously Optimistic Future of Business by Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter.
Fortunately, if you launch a free employee engagement program today, you automatically receive a free chapter from When Millennials Take Over. You can start impacting your bottom line and finding your competitive advantage today.
Rob Hoehn is the co-founder and CEO of IdeaScale: the largest open innovation software platform in the world. Hoehn launched crowdsourcing software as part of the open government initiative and IdeaScale’s robust portfolio now includes many other industry notables, such as EA Sports, NBC, NASA, Xerox and many others. Prior to IdeaScale, Hoehn was Vice President of Client Services at Survey Analytics.
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