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Crowd Sourcing and Open Innovation – A Must Have For Your Company

Sebastian Schieke
24 January 2019

Nowadays, most companies still face a major challenge when it comes to consistently implementing digital transformation and integrating crowdsourcing into their processes.

These challenges were discussed at the "World Class Digital Transformation 2016" as part of the "Enterprise Crowd Innovation" series of lectures. Plentiful of successful examples and models for digital change processes were presented, and the speakers gave the participants a lot of valuable impulses beyond their lectures.

Get the right people on board

Digital innovation arises where brilliant ideas and well-founded expertise come together. With the help of crowdsourcing, you will succeed in bringing the right people together and bring your company to the top. Form a team of experts, and create internal as well as external networks with people who can make a valuable contribution to the implementation of your order. You will see the spark! You do not know it yet, but the principle of "co-creation", or the community "connectivity", is the main engine and most effective instrument for innovative, creative action. Whenever people come together, ideas grow, and multiply. Communication advancement is the greatest achievement of our century, exchange of information today is fast and efficient. In other words, networking is the key to solving (almost) any problem.

Powerful, future-oriented, innovative: with this goal you get the best minds

Thinking in purely economic and profit-oriented terms no longer pays off. The times are over when it could only be about capital and the best possible turnover. Today, companies are rightly expected to act responsibly for society and our planet. They strive for sustainability and use innovation not only to make things easier, faster and more practical, but also benefit and preserve the surrounding environment and the society at large. It is in the hands of each individual, but especially in the hands of companies, to commit themselves to the fair and responsible use of resources.

4 reasons why innovation is essential for every company

  1. growth – continuous development, optimization and expansion of the own radius of action.
  2. external acquisition – remain attractive for business partners and future employees.
  3. remain competitive (because all others continue to develop)
  4. maintaining and increasing the reputation and value of the company

All these points can be more actively and consciously controlled in the digital age than ever before. Further development and training through the fast uncomplicated procurement of information has never been easier. We can search the web for people, send news around the world in seconds, monitor the actions of our competitors on the web, and enhance our company's reputation through intelligent social media and content marketing. 

New strategic partnerships can be established in the global network

Instead of business trips, that consume time and require financial investment, it is now possible to find and contact your expert directly from your desk thanks to intelligent data evaluation. No matter what question you have: the probability that someone somewhere has already found an answer to your question or has the knowledge you need is over 90%. There is somebody somewhere who has the knowledge you need.

Furthermore, it is important to notice that unusual cooperations are often the best for a B2B company because there is so much creative energy released in an interdisciplinary and/or international team. The more different the backgrounds, the greater the range of knowledge, the more diverse the perspectives. Above all, this principle of "cross innovation" wants to avoid one thing: the blunt observance of rules and the "blinkered view" that everyone inevitably gets of their own working environment over time. An external view as well as a view to the outside world are essential for innovation in your company.

Now it is your turn

As a member of the management board, you are primarily responsible for initiating these innovation processes. Put out your feelers and look for interesting partners. You will be surprised how open-minded most people will react to you. As soon as the "overlap" has been determined, i.e. common interests and goals have been defined, you can gradually involve your employees and define fields of work and projects.

Focus on B2B – of course, your strategy should be market and consumer-oriented. But experience shows that other competencies are required in the planning and development phase. Talk to experts and decision makers among your customer as well as experienced employees from your own ranks and  international colleagues. Get in touch with universities and also talk to research teams. Is your question suitable for a "Call for Papers"? A B2C survey is of little use, because although the contacts may bring ideas with them, they lack the necessary expertise to make feasible suggestions.

External partners can help you widen your view and ask the right questions. You set the direction and you decide what your company needs. Together we can find the right strategy that leads to your long-term success.

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