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3 ways crowdsourcing ideas can drive innovation in your organization

Justina Dukelow
by Justina Dukelow on July 12, 2017

3 ways crowdsourcing ideas drives innovation - TemboSocialWhen leaders start feeling like the organization is stuck and needs to make progress in some areas, they too often feel like it’s time for some “fresh ideas”; David Burkus disagrees.

“In most organizations, innovation isn’t hampered by a lack of ideas, but rather a lack of noticing the good ideas already there,” Burkus writes in the Harvard Business Review blog

Given that innovation is inherently risky, how do you go about finding the great ideas you need?

Take a risk to get more creative

It turns out that the relationship between risk and creativity is complex. While moderate levels of risk can stifle creative output - and acceptance of creative ideas - high levels of creativity are often associated with high levels of risk. Albert Einstein, noted for his creative thinking in the discipline of physics, was also quite the risk-taker. When risk is great, the brain needs to go to greater lengths for a solution. And it often comes back with something unexpected.

This doesn’t mean that you need to conduct brainstorming sessions while base-jumping. Two easy ways to elevate risk are to shorten deadlines or lower budgets. Hackathons - ridiculously time-boxed development sessions - are well known for producing an amazing amount of creative work in a short span of time.

And if you don’t believe that short budgets can’t produce great ideas, look at Doyle Dane Bernbach’s groundbreaking (and low budget) ads for Volkswagen.

Distribute the risk

Of course you might not want to turn the risk dial up to 11. The other way to foster innovation is to create a culture of innovation by distributing the benefits and risks across the organization. Burkus suggests that instead of top-down innovation (you come up with the idea and I, the leader, will reject it), a better model might be to hand over the decision-making across the organization. 
 
What's even more powerful is integrating the ideas discussion inside your Intranet program, where your employees are already spending time in their days. With more visibility into the active discussions, comes greater participation, and more ideas.
 
Discover an integrated idea collaboration solution for your Intranet in the short video below.
 

Crowdsourcing ideas brings the best ideas from your organization in (atleast) 3 ways:
  1. Vote on ideas: Giving peers the ability to vote on new ideas can minimize the risk that any single individual will make the wrong choice, freeing people to select ideas that they think are the most creative.
  2. Idea discussions, not lists: Rather than making a list of good ideas, encourage conversations around ideas. This allows people to build on and develop each other's ideas.
  3. Bring idea discussions into the cloud: Take brainstorming sessions off of the whiteboard and into the cloud.  By making ideas searchable and discoverable in a database, they can be brought back to life when the moment is right. 

Interested in learning more? 

Request your own personal tour.
Justina Dukelow
Written by Justina Dukelow

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