Innovation Basics: 5 key benefits of Crowdsourcing in Innovation

By Michael Watkins

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Changing the world, one idea at a time has to start somewhere. Even the organizations that regularly bring about revolutionary change had to take a first step on their journey. In the Innovation Basics series, we focus exclusively on what that first step could look like for newcomers to the innovation world. Follow this guidance to achieve faster, better innovation.

In the previous webinar in our Innovation Basics series, we outlined the benefits of using an idea management platform. The central point to that was it provides a connected home for innovation which means that good ideas don’t slip through the net.

Having used the platform to connect internal workstreams in this way, another key consideration for innovation program leaders is what to do when a problem cannot be solved by internal crowds. Turning to members of the supply chain or beyond to a crowd of problem solvers with no pre-existing relationship to your organization – such as the Wazoku Crowd – can be the answer.

Crowdsourcing ideas allows companies to approach problems differently and, in some cases, discover solutions that not only solve an issue but open up extensive opportunities worth exploring in the future.

5 key benefits of Crowdsourcing in Innovation

The power of crowdsourcing innovation is that it allows businesses to solve problems and explore opportunities simultaneously. Below are 5 key benefits of crowdsourcing that enable companies to do both:

  • Sourcing novel solutions from unexpected fields/people
  • Maximizing ROI while reducing risk
  • Discovering new approaches and tools to aid complex problem solving
  • Builds a community to research and promote a cause
  • Demonstrates thought leadership credentials

Things to Consider:

As with anything, the benefits of crowdsourcing don’t come without some barriers that organizations should be aware of in order to navigate these hurdles as they arise.

Senior Leadership – particularly in an uncertain economic climate, senior stakeholders don’t want to use budget on programs that are brand new. To combat this, use real-world evidence – like some of our customer stories – to calm concerns and illustrate that crowdsourcing is something that no business can afford to do without.

Inadequate Resourcing – Crowdsourcing doesn’t run itself. It is not a ‘silver bullet’ that is installed in an organization to make all the problems magically go away. To enjoy the tangible, vital benefits of crowdsourcing requires resource. A great way to achieve that resourcing is through building a network of advocates across the organization.

In this blog, we’ve outlined the reasons why organizations turn to crowdsourcing in their innovation efforts. We’ve also illustrated some key benefits of doing so, as well as suggesting some potential barriers to consider when starting out.

Read the next blog in the Innovation Basics series: 5 Pillars of Success of a Crowdsourced Ideas Scheme

By Michael Watkins

Michael is Wazoku's Product and Brand Marketing lead. Away from the office, he's our resident film buff, so if you want some recommendations for a night in front of Netflix or a trip to your local cinema, get in touch with him!