DOYOUWANTTOBEANEAGLEORANOSTRICH?
10    QUESTIONS  TO  ASK  BEFORE  LAUNCHING  YOUR  IDEASCALE  
JOE  PETERS  
IDEASCALE ...


10  Ques(ons  to  Ask  Before  Launching  Your  
IdeaScale    
Do  you  want  to  be  an  Eagle  or  an  Ostrich?  
What...


IdeaScale crowdsourcing provides organizations with the chance to cost-
effectively engage your target audience on all s...


4
One of the first steps for many organizations is to make the shift from being an ostrich to being
an eagle. The ostric...


5
3.  Who  needs  to  participate?  
Crowdsourcing processes are often best when they represent the diverse voices invol...


6
About  Joe  
Joe  Peters  is  a  Partner  at  Ascentum.  Ascentum  is  the  IdeaScale  
professional  services  partne...
7
9.  How  can  participants  stay  involved?  
Every time your organization asks employees or customers for their input, ...
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White Paper: Do You Want to be an Eagle or an Ostrich?

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IdeaScale crowdsourcing provides organizations with the chance to cost- effectively engage your target audience on all sorts of topics. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to reach the general public, employees, stakeholders, or clients, crowdsourcing will produce powerful results. With these opportunities come real fears about losing control, which can become self-fulfilling when organizations take the wrong approach to their first flight.

What's Inside:
-Steps to ensure your organization runs like an eagle
- How to leverage your crowd to get actionable results
- Learn to cultivate buy-in to new initiatives across organizations

Published in: Technology, Education, Business
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White Paper: Do You Want to be an Eagle or an Ostrich?

  1. 1. 
 DOYOUWANTTOBEANEAGLEORANOSTRICH? 10    QUESTIONS  TO  ASK  BEFORE  LAUNCHING  YOUR  IDEASCALE   JOE  PETERS   IDEASCALE  I  ASCENTUM
  2. 2. 
 10  Ques(ons  to  Ask  Before  Launching  Your   IdeaScale     Do  you  want  to  be  an  Eagle  or  an  Ostrich?   What  do  you  want  to  know?     What  is  your  commitment  to         par(cipants?       Who  needs  to  par(cipate?   How  hot  is  the  topic/issue?   What  type  of  ideas  are  you  looking  for?   How  will  you  track  or  moderate         par(cipa(on?   What  are  your  (melines?   What  resources  are  available  to         support  the  process?   How  can  par(cipants  stay  involved?   How  can  you  avoid  mistakes? 3   4   4   4   5   5   5 6   6   6   7   7 Do You Want To Be An Eagle Or An Ostrich?
  3. 3. 
 IdeaScale crowdsourcing provides organizations with the chance to cost- effectively engage your target audience on all sorts of z and topics. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to reach the general public, employees, stakeholders, or clients, crowdsourcing will produce powerful results. Initiatives can create greater buy-in to new policies, generate innovative ideas about new services/ products, and leverage the time, energy and resources of the “crowd” to help organizations reach their goals. With these opportunities come real fears about losing control, which can become self-fulfilling when organizations take the wrong approach to their first flight. 3DO  YOU  WANT  TO  BE  AN  EAGLE  OR  AN  OSTRICH? By  Joe  Peters,  Ascentum 10 Questions to Ask Before Launching Your IdeaScale
  4. 4. 
 4 One of the first steps for many organizations is to make the shift from being an ostrich to being an eagle. The ostrich organization tends to bury its head and hope that this “crowdsourcing or social media fad” will go away. The problem for this type of organization is that it is thinking too close to the ground. The eagle organization looks at the big picture far above the ground. It thinks strategically on where to best focus its efforts and swoops in once it has made its choice. Like it or not, social media has made the ostrich organization an endangered species. Come up with your own answers to these ten questions to ensure your flight is smooth and graceful. Do you want to be an Eagle or an Ostrich? 1.    What  do  you  want  to  know?     This may seem like a simple question, but being very clear about what you want from your audience is the most important thing that you can do to shape your crowdsourcing strategy. Every choice you make about how to engage your audience online should be driven by what you want to learn from them. You may have service options to consider, you may want to brainstorm new ideas for improving your organization’s efficiency or effectiveness, or you may simply want feedback. Understanding what you need to find out is an essential first piece in designing a crowdsourcing initiative or program. 2.  What  is  your  commitment  to  participants?       It is critical to communicate with clarity on how your audience’s ideas will be used. What is the commitment you will make to respond to the ideas generated by participants? Until you are able to clearly articulate how the audience’s input will be used, it will be difficult to make strategic decisions about the design of the process as well as to encourage people to participate. This gets beyond incentives. At a minimum, you can commit to a defined timeline for reviewing ideas and thanking participants. Ideally, you will be able to provide your audience with tangible evidence that their input has been heard or used. DO  YOU  WANT  TO  BE  AN  EAGLE  OR  AN  OSTRICH?
  5. 5. 
 5 3.  Who  needs  to  participate?   Crowdsourcing processes are often best when they represent the diverse voices involved on the topic or issue. Thinking about what voices that you want to hear from will shape decisions about when a crowdsourcing initiative can take place, how it should be publicized, and what kinds of tools are appropriate. Sometimes it will help to consider who will be affected or impacted by decisions you plan to make. Once you have decided who will need to participate, you will then need to develop an outreach strategy to get them to the IdeaScale. 4.  How  hot  is  the  topic/issue?   This question will change if you are reaching out to employees or to customers. The level of interest in an issue/topic will impact expectations about how many people will participate and how, if at all, contentious participation may be. Highly technical topics may only attract small numbers unless proactive outreach strategies are pursued and the issue is framed in ways that are accessible to a broader audience. 5.  What  type  of  ideas  are  you  looking  for?   There are different types of ideas that can be requested of participants. You may ask participants to explore a specific topic/issue. You may make it broad and open to all ideas. You may also ask them ideas that meet certain conditions or take competing interests into account. Do you want them to view a video first? Is there background information that you want your audience to consider? The way you frame and present your IdeaScale is ultimately important to its success. DO  YOU  WANT  TO  BE  AN  EAGLE  OR  AN  OSTRICH? Remember,  eagles    fly,  ostriches  don’t…       Asking  your  audience  for  their  ideas  is  an  incredible  opportunity.  The  eagle   organization  will  have  the  answers  to  these  questions  before  proceeding.    The   golden  eagle  organization  may  also  establish  some  principles  and  standards  around   how  it  plans  to  continue  in  the  future.    We  have  entered  into  a  new  era  of   interaction  through  social  media.  A  little  thought,  planning  and  reflection  can  help   ensure  a  smooth  flight  for  your  IdeaScale  initiative.
  6. 6. 
 6 About  Joe   Joe  Peters  is  a  Partner  at  Ascentum.  Ascentum  is  the  IdeaScale   professional  services  partner.    From  strategy  and  planning  to   outreach  and  delivery,  to  analysis  and  reporting,  Ascentum  can   help  your  IdeaScale  initiative  soar.       Contact  him  at  jpeters@ascentum.com  for  more  information. 6.  How  will  you  track  or  moderate  participation?   There are different schools of thought on this question of active or passive management of an IdeaScale. The key is to have a plan in place AND your rationale for your course of action. Sitting back can also appropriate. Being out there and visible and commenting can create buzz and interest. It’s a matter of figuring out what makes sense for you and your audience. 7.  What  are  your  timelines?   The timeframe for your crowdsourcing initiative is another important element of the design. If you have two weeks to design, deliver and make a decision then you have far fewer options than if you have six months. Generally speaking, a process to be considered “open” should be live for four to six weeks to ensure adequate participation. An invitation-only process can be significantly shorter. Also you may want think about having rounds of ideas, where the top ones continue to be worked down or have different topics over different periods. Whether it is 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years, the timing is another part of the plan. 8.  What  resources  are  available  to  support  the  process?   Strategizing, planning, designing, delivering, promoting, analyzing, reporting, and concluding can all be resource intensive activities. Never mind if you decide to go down the incentive and prize routes. (Incentives and prizes do make a difference, by the way.) The key will to be very clear about the personnel and budget that are available before going too far in planning. Keep in mind that a process can be inexpensive and fast, inexpensive and high quality, or fast and high quality, but it seldom can be inexpensive, fast and high quality all at the same time. DO  YOU  WANT  TO  BE  AN  EAGLE  OR  AN  OSTRICH?
  7. 7. 7 9.  How  can  participants  stay  involved?   Every time your organization asks employees or customers for their input, you have a unique opportunity to build a relationship that may produce ongoing value for your organization and everyone who participates. Will the process be a one-time interaction, or do you want to create the infrastructure to keep participants informed and provide them with ways to stay involved? Will you leverage your social networks, and will you commit to maintaining them? You will need to think this through at the outset, so that you can be prepared at the conclusion of the consultation process. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – give the longer-term possibilities some thought at the outset. 10.  How  can  you  avoid  mistakes?   You can’t. There will probably be some little ones, like a typo here and there or even a duplicate post that needs to come down. The key is to not make the colossal mistakes. The key is that with good a good strategy and plan, you can go a long way to mitigating challenges during your IdeaScale. Human beings are not completely infallible, but a good plan will be worth its weight in gold when it comes to the execution of your IdeaScale. Don’t reinvent and learn from the experiences of others. It will make you look like an eagle. FOR  MORE  INFORMATION   sales@ideascale.com Global  /  Americas   +1  800-­‐549-­‐9198 New  Zealand   +64-­‐080-­‐099-­‐5088 Australia   +61-­‐02-­‐9037-­‐8414 United  Kingdom   +44-­‐0-­‐808-­‐189-­‐1476 DO  YOU  WANT  TO  BE  AN  EAGLE  OR  AN  OSTRICH?

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