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10/26/2011

Comments

Andrea Pesoli

This is a great post.

Companies too have the same issue when they turn to their own (internal) crowd for ideas (a sort of crowdsourcing).

Identifying promising ideas and successfully engaging management in their funding is only part of the journey. To be classed as a successful innovation, the ideas have to be productive in practice. Research has shown that the characteristics of exploitation teams are substantially different to exploration teams.

Also, the engagement process (this is akin to the crowdfunding phase) is where the informality of the exploration process meets the formality of the management hierarchy, required to fund the progression of prospective ideas. The success or otherwise of the engagement process will rely critically on the influencing skills of the brokers/ bridges.

To cut a long story short, the same networked approach used inside companies could be applied to a "standard" crowdsourcing+crowdfunding initiative, to understand the hidden or shadow communities that exists (or affinities) within people and the different roles that individuals play in these networks. Once identified, they can then be leveraged to facilitate the innovation results that have proven so elusive to firms and organizations relying on more structured approaches.

Ps: a recent article on the MIT Sloan Management Review also notes that a small number of “idea scouts” and “idea connectors” are disproportionately influential in producing successful open innovation outcomes. Smart companies make sure they are linked. http://sloanreview.mit.edu/the-magazine/2011-fall/53108/creating-employee-networks-that-deliver-open-innovation/

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