So you’re thinking of tapping your employees or customers for ideas. You’ve read some exciting crowdsourcing case studies and it seems like a no brainer. Or you’ve used a consultant but now want to go it alone? What could possibly go wrong? If you’re like a lot of first timers, you’ll get the software all set up, announce the challenge, and sit back with great expectations!

But the truth is, many crowdsourcing campaigns fail (even employee crowdsourcing) to yield a lot of relevant or high quality ideas, because innovation teams haven’t taken the time to learn what’s different about this type of innovation initiative. It turns out that, in addition to world-class software, there’s a lot involved in successful crowdsourcing!

Until now, there hasn’t really been a complete but accessible “How To” guide for planning and implementing an innovation crowdsourcing campaign. Which is why Totem, a Silicon Valley based innovation company, identified eight key areas that can be taught in an online innovation training series.

After running multiple crowdsourcing campaigns for organizations of all sizes, Totem is an expert in planning and running hugely successful innovation crowd campaigns with both internal and external crowds. The series helps innovation teams set the right expectations inside your organization, avoid time-consuming mistakes, and ensures you get what you hope from crowdsourcing.

Here are the eight key areas that we’ve identified for learning:

  1. An Introduction to Crowdsourcing: What crowdsourcing is, when crowdsourcing should and should not be used, and how crowdsourcing can be valuable.
  2. Planning the Campaign: How to plan a successful crowd-sourcing campaign using Totem’s six step process.
  3. Configuring the Campaign: Everything that goes into configuring the software, including general logistics, member logistics, and idea logistics.
  4. Crowd Recruitment and Activation: How to drive interest and engagement among your crowd, and measure the growth and health of your community.
  5. Running a Campaign: What to expect once a campaign is launched; how to successfully moderate and assess ideas.
  6. Rewarding a Crowd: How to motivate the crowd through gamification and the right mix of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards.
  7. Idea Conversion: How to extract insights from a crowd and convert ideas into testable concepts.
  8. After the Campaign: How to end a campaign strongly, and measure the return on investment from a crowdsourcing campaign.

You can order from one to all eight courses, and complete them online at your own pace, from anywhere.

By Suzan Briganti

About the author

Suzan Briganti, CEO & Founder, Totem Inc. Suzan brings 25 years of experience in strategy, research and innovation. She has patents pending in innovation methods, and has won numerous awards for creative work. She has grown Totem from a garage start-up to a trusted business partner of global Fortune 500 clients. A passionate and effective innovation leader and product visionary, Suzan grew up in Silicon Valley since before it was called that.

Photo: Speaker at Business by