Is your company ready for Crowd and Community sourcing?

In the Harvard Business Review of last month there were two articles on how companies can use crowd sourcing and community sourcing to help solve their problems and create new innovations. Another article talked about how employees (of these companies) make every day decisions whether they will act as “givers” or “takers” on behalf of these companies (you would want them to be givers…).

Several thoughts come to mind…

  1. First, many companies still struggle to use “employee sourcing” to solve problems and to create new innovations. There is so much knowledge, wisdom and power in the very people that work for these companies. How many people in your company can analyze the markets you are in, how many do interview customers to truly understand what makes them tick, how many can motivate why your company has chosen a certain position or strategy? 5% or 10% of the people in an organization? Right, this is probably too high an estimation. But why not 90%?
  2. Second, it is only when your employees deeply understand what is going on and know that the organization rewards common generous behavior that they start to act as “givers”. By the way: Generous behavior is different from being timid, available or showing ‘just’ empathy…
  3. Third, it makes good sense that companies can only really start to ask for help in community or crowds when they have employees who are empowered and generous, because these people do not have themselves on their hands anymore…. It is when you don’t need to be focussed on yourself anymore, your position, your… fill in the blank that you can start to listen and start working together with your community and crowd.

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