Internal vs External Crowdsourcing

Michel NeumannBlog

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Have you ever heard of internal crowdsourcing? If not, you may want to hold on a second and read this post.

On the one hand, external crowdsourcing utilises an unknown crowd to solve a problem or to gather new ideas. This crowd may be selected in advance or may be made of every web user. This is the practice we generally refer to while talking about crowdsourcing.

On the other hand, internal crowdsourcing utilises a crowd of people known to the organisation: problem solving or idea generation is extended to all employees for example, or to stakeholders, or to partners.

Knowing the members of the crowd constitutes an extreme advantage for the company, as it allows to address the proper challenge to the proper people, avoiding unwanted answers due to a lack of sufficient expertise from the contributors. A challenge can be addressed to the exact group of people who have the knowledge and skills to come up with great ideas. Not only, in fact, employees are consumers but they are also experts in the market, in the product and they know the competition.

This internal approach is done on a regular basis, results are accumulated and reviewed by moderators and then utilised for a specific purpose. It’s a process aimed at keeping corporate knowledge flowing and harnessing the creativity within the company. The reward is less financial and more reputational as employees seek personal fulfillment more than monetary incentives.

Internal crowdsourcing can be used for a different variety of purposes: new product development, process improvement, employee engagement and also open innovation. Having everyone answering a challenge, regardless their business division, can help the company come up with both incremental and disruptive innovation.

Wazoku’s Idea Spotlight is a co-creation platform that can help your organisation launching internal crowdsourcing contests tailored to your business needs. Check out our Idea Spotlight Overview guide.

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