You might have noticed that organizations don’t exist in a vacuum anymore. They don’t make decisions autonomously (if, indeed, they ever did) – handing down products or processes that they guess people want. Social media and digital engagement have changed all that – the expectation is now one of a dialogue, constant communication, and constant improvement.

This ongoing collaborative refinement can actually become the life blood of any innovation group. And the good news is that there’s really no good reason not to open up the discussion: Security concerns? Global collaboration? The need for a robust set of vetting functionality?

The right platform has answers for all of those issues. But if you have to make a case for why you should begin co-creating in an open approach – here are some that you can take to your boss to explain this growing trend.

1. It’s not just expected, it’s enjoyable.

Customers and employees truly love sharing feedback – especially if they begin to see results from their commentary. When what starts as comment becomes a new feature in their favorite product, your network of users becomes a network of evangelists who will be glad to give you ideas for just about anything (from the direction for your next ad campaign, to a new product, to how to solve a design problem, and more)

2. Reduces R&D Costs.

Whether you’re innovating with the crowd, a crowd of experts, team members, or otherwise – an innovation without borders campaign can significantly reduce the costs associated with acquiring product feedback, validation, or new ideas. It’s pretty amazing that you can expand the scope of your inquiry while building evangelists and reducing costs at the same time.

3. Increasing Revenue.

The best news, however, is that information from the network paves the way towards purchasing. The real-time data most often indicates a commitment to buy. And the numbers are compelling: repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers. Engaged employees are 78% more likely to recommend a product. If you’re listening actively, you’re also building a revenue stream.

But these are just a few of the ways that dissolving boundaries can help improve an organization. There are many other reasons that have been named by Fortune 500 brands as leading reasons to cross borders and starting to co-innovate. Some of those reasons include: improving brand sentiment, improving employee morale, sourcing expert cost-saving suggestions, and much more. But the most important part to remember is (no matter what your goal might be) that the dialogue should remain active and that the conversation doesn’t go stale. Nothing stops good ideas dead in their tracks better than an unresponsive communications team.

If you’re interested in learning more about “Innovation Without Borders,” register today for our upcoming webinar. Special guests include Accenture, the former CTO of the United States, and IdeaScale. They’ll discuss open innovation as a method and offer insight into best practices.

By Rob Hoehn

About the author

Rob Hoehn is the co-founder and CEO of IdeaScale: the largest open innovation software platform in the world. Hoehn launched crowdsourcing software as part of the open government initiative and IdeaScale’s robust portfolio now includes many other industry notables, such as EA Sports, NBC, NASA, Xerox and many others. Prior to IdeaScale, Hoehn was Vice President of Client Services at Survey Analytics.

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