Consequently, when the US Coast Guard launched a crowdsourced ideas community, ideas that had proven their value during the hurricane season were immediately socialized, advocated for and adopted in at least half the time that it normally took for an idea to become policy.
However, even a successful transparent ideas program like the Coast Guard’s requires a thoughtful and repeatable innovation process in order to turn it into an innovation program (since it is process that brings ideas to launch and encourages future trust in the program as it generates results). The Coast Guard used a multi-step process of approval, evaluation, and advocacy. It was this process that resulted in the United States Coast Guard winning the annual Innovation Management Award. Each idea in the CG_Ideas community would go through:
This process ensured that every idea was seen from multiple perspectives and viewers. That diversity of opinion and validation accelerated the pace of change.
By Rob Hoehn
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.