Using open-source collaboration and crowdsourcingprinciples to bring companies together with individuals from other disciplines, experiences and talents to deliver breakthrough ideas and innovations
TEN collaboration and crowdsourcing TRAPS to avoid
The Ego TrapDont shy away from collaboration and crowdsourcing initiatives because you think they are a knock on your existing creative/innovation process Embrace these approaches for what they are -- tools to generate more stimuli and inspiration for you and your teams…especially early-on in the planning and development stage when you want/need to explore the broadest range of solutions and ideas
The Promotion/PR TrapIn many cases, crowdsourcing is being used as a unique promotional tactic to provide consumers and/or inﬂuencers with a memorable brand experience (i.e., create a new ﬂavor, etc.) designed to generate buzz and press However, crowdsourcing is much more than a promotional or PR tactic There are plenty of ways to execute approaches behind-the-scenes to generate new product innovations and unique marketing ideas. And the "crowd" you would "source" in these situations would include participants who go beyond just consumers, inﬂuencers and Facebook “friends” Go beyond this!
The Who Before What Trap Crowdsourcing has become a buzz word in the industry…and everyone is interested ingiving it a shot. Unfortunately, many companies begin by thinking about WHO they want to crowdsource as a ﬁrst step...and that’s a BIG mistake Determining WHO has earned the right to collaborate with your brand/company all depends on WHAT youre trying to achieve. For example, you might collaborate with one group behind-the- scenes to develop a proprietary new product...but engage a completely different group to be part of a high-proﬁle campaign designed to generate PR So, when it comes to crowdsourcing…let the WHAT dictate the WHO...not the other way around
The One-Size-Fits-All TrapWhen you take a look around at all the crowdsourcing initiatives out there, youll start to notice that they are being executed in a variety of different ways So, when you decide to start crowdsourcing...remember that there is no "one size ﬁts all" approach. You need to ﬁnd the approach that works for you…and that means ﬁnding a comfortable place to get started…being open to combining approaches…and always trying new things. Simply put, youll need to be patient…like our friends at P&G P&G’s development and implementation of “connect and develop” has unfolded over many years. There have been some hiccups along the way, but largely it has been a methodical process of learning by doing, abandoning what doesn’t work and expanding what does - Harvard Business Review
The I Need A Tech Platform Trap There are lots of technology platforms that you can use to support crowdsourcing initiatives…and some of them are pretty sexy. However, crowdsourcing is NOT about the platform you use...its about the PEOPLE you collaborate with (the crowd you source) Visionary, Seth Godin, put it best in Tribes when he wrote: Throughout this book, Im pretty quick to use examples based on the Internet and some of the astonishing new tools that are showing up to enable tribes to be more effective. But the Internet is just a tool, an easy way to enable some tactics. The real power of tribes has nothing to do with the Internet and everything to do with people Don’t be fooled or intimidated by all those people out there with the sexy tech platforms.The approach you use to crowdsource should be the one that works best for your crowd andyour organization. So, consider everything -- from online collaboration platforms…to online survey platforms…to live workshops…to good ol’ email…etc.
The Team Temptation Trap When you talk about crowdsourcing…everyone immediately assumes the participantsshould work together to build and vote for ideas. However, many approaches incorporate ablind layer where participants work on the problem alone without anyone inﬂuencing their thinking…or compromising their personal problem-solving techniques. For example, at BigHeads, we use the following one-two punch approach: Phase I - Blind Format We let participants go it alone so they give us responses that have not been inﬂuenced and they can use their own creative techniques to develop ideas Phase II - Team Format We take the top ideas from Phase I and use a team-based approach where everyone can re-focus and begin building on the top ideas together
The More the Merrier Trap Opening up your project to tons of people may seem to make sense…but remember -quantity doesn’t always mean quality. In fact, at BigHeads we limit our crowd to hand- picked BIG thinkers who we know will deliver quality thinking…quicklySo, if you decide to throw the doors wide open…make sure you have the resources and patience to cull through lots of bad ideas to ﬁnd the great ones
The Expect The Answer Trap Remember, crowdsourcing is all about inviting the right people from beyond your fourwalls to inspire ideas and solutions…but you can’t just provide them with a project brief and expect them to come back with the answer while you wait Your role is critical to the process! As the projects champion, you need to put in place the necessary steps to weed-out the most compelling insights, ideas and inspiration and then determine how that information can be applied to create the ﬁnal innovations
The Conﬁdentiality Trap Not surprisingly, conﬁdentiality is one of the concerns many companies have when theyﬁrst consider a crowdsourcing initiative, especially when they are interested in "sourcing" a "crowd" from outside their walls to generate new ideas and solutions Well, dont let conﬁdentiality concerns hold you back. There are plenty of steps you can take to ensure your project and your objective remain protected For example, at BigHeads we put in place the following measures for our Brand OpeningTM crowdsourcing/collaboration process: • All members execute a comprehensive NDA when they join • Participants do not receive standard brand briefs. Our projects are designed to elicit stimuli for our internal team to use when creating ﬁnal ideas, so participants oftentimes do not even know the true objective • Our clients always have ﬁnal approval before a project is distributed, so sensitive information is never released • Even though a brands stature can help drive participation, it is possible to keep projects 100% anonymous
The Target Consumer TrapWhen it comes to crowdsourcing initiatives, most brands and companies often feel that the ONLY resource they need to tap for their project is their TARGET CUSTOMERAs true believers in the methodology that “BIG ideas happen when DISSIMILAR universescollide”…here at BigHeads we constantly remind companies to be careful not to fall into the trap of limiting your efforts to a target customer "crowd". If you do, youll end up missing out on a universe of untapped creativity, opportunity and potential So, if you are considering crowdsourcing, we recommend you keep this quote handy as a constant reminder to extend your crowd BEYOND just your target customers: “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse” - Henry Ford