Crowdsource as a way to create a community
Filed under:communityAt work one of our teams is using a community space in order to use a forum tocrowdsource ideas for continuous improvement. We got 400 posts in 2 weeks.Our forum is basic so we don’t have the features that come with crowdsourcedesigned tools likeIdeaJam,Brightidea(used byCisco),Salesforcehave their
own site,IdeaScale,UserVoice,Suggestion Box,CrowdSound(widget),Fevote
I’ve also noticed some tools if you want people to crowdsource around a questionyou have proposed, such asDotmocracy,Zapproved,Kindling,CrowdSpring,
Anyhow, whether it’s crowdsourcing of the top-down stimulation variety orgathering ideas in general, it’s about utilising people on ground zero in sharingstuff that goes way beyond what we know of them…it’s amazing how much moreyou learn about people when you ask. It just makes sense, as managementoftendon’t know“what is” practiced compared to “what is meant” to be practiced.There is an indirect value in all the stuff that happened along the way; I learnt somuch, I met new people (for future communities and collaboration), and all thesepeople feel valued and recognised… watch out, the mailroom guy may have yournext strategic innovation.So we have a heartbeat, and we also know at least a handful of these ideas havegreat value and will be implemented, and perhaps the overall feel could lead tosome strategic influence or new objectives. This is whatDave Snowdencalls“distributed cognition”, where the workers can contribute to decision making.Once again this will drive more participation as participating works; people feelrecognised and heard (especially if it leads to results). There is also the personalproductivity benefit when you can make a difference so your own job can bemore smooth and productive.A participation model is definitely a career advancement tool, I hadn’t thought ofit from a HR/talent perspective all that much until now…but I have mentioned thatyou can brand yourself and become known as a subject matter expert…createyour own opportunities.Rather than use a prescribed approach of creating some topic forums upfront, weinstead had just one forum. Our other option was having some topic forums anda miscellaneous forum, but we found one forum was easy. And you want this tobe as easy as possible at the start, the less choices the better. All this is relatedto apast poston broad buckets as a fertile ground.