By: Rob Hoehn
One of the reasons why so many crowdsourced innovation programs struggle is because it is difficult for innovators to gather, process, select and implement ideas on a continuous basis.
And because that process takes time, the crowd sometimes loses interest or focus as the mechanisms of change slowly turn ideas into new products or projects that will launch someday.
Some of our most successful customers have a new format, however, that’s helping them to keep engagement with their crowd high and improve their implementation rate as an organization. They adopt a format that has some perennial, ongoing categories for ideation, but they also have some short-term, time-limited campaigns to address problems of a smaller scale. This mixed-use format allows them to easily deliver on some of the low-hanging fruit ideas, find opportunities to ignite the crowd’s interest and get them to pay attention to some of the more impactful, slower-moving change that’s occurring in other ideation programs.
However, to find new campaigns to run periodically means that you need to have some new problems to solve or problem statements that can kindle the crowd’s interest. But the good news is that we’ve seen some of our customers capitalize on seasonal interests or thematic trends and use that as a template for these shorter term innovation campaigns. Here are a few examples:
March Madness for Ideas
Whether you’re a basketball fan or not, you know how March Madness works: the best NCAA teams face off against each other and that performance leads to a team rankings that determine the championship team. Some of our customers will run a March Madness tournament for promising ideas – using our pairwise tool to compare them to one another and rank order their performance against all others. This creates a real-time, competitive format for later stage ideas and excites your sports fans in the audience.
Cost Savings in Tax Season
For those of you that have to file your taxes in April, you start thinking about your spending habits all throughout the year and how you might do things differently next year. It’s no different for businesses, and since everyone is thinking about budgets and spending anyways, it might be a good idea to capture some of those thoughts in a cost savings campaign in honor of tax season during the month of April.
Where Should You Give During the Holidays
Nonprofits and charities know that there’s an annual donation spike around the holiday season. Individuals and businesses take the time to donate to organizations to meet the year-end cut off for deductions, offer gifts to contacts or friends, and feel as though they’re making a difference. We’ve seen some of our customers ask their crowd of customers or employees where they should direct this charitable giving and it’s always an exciting campaign, because the crowd is phenomenally invested in this answer and you can truly reflect your organization when you see which nominations are most popular and why.
But these are just a few of the campaigns that you can run seasonally.
We created a campaign prompt for every month of the year – you can download the calendar and the prompts on our website.
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.