Earlier this week we co-hosted an event with the Centre for New Technologies, Innovation and Enterprise (CENTIVE) at Cass Business School in London. Located between London's financial district (the City) and startup hub (Tech City/Silicon Roundabout), they run an engaging progamme of evening events, bringing together business students with the local business communities.
I was joined on the panel by Thomson Reuters' Chief Enterprise Architect Dave Weller and Nicholas Graham, Chief Digital Officer at Walker Media, chaired by CENTIVE's Stefan Haefliger, Reader in Strategic Management and Innovation at Cass.
Charged with the question who is your crowd, we discussed internal and external crowds, and issues around how to engage with, incentivize, and manage their contributions to challenges. Here are a few interesting questions that came from the audience:
- How do you prevent internal challenges from taking people away from their day jobs too much? When identifying and crafting challenges for your internal crowd to contribute to, it’s important to carefully manage what you’re asking for: challenges should be posed in such a way that people can make meaningful contributions without needing to spend a full work week working on their response.
- Are internal incentive- based programs sustainable? We discussed how this depends very much on what the incentives are. Cash is rarely used to incentivize crowds within an organization to contribute to key challenges. Best practice is for organizations to build a tailor-made incentives programme, matching their own company culture. Recognition and time to develop a project can be effective, for example.
- Any there any things you shouldn't ask the crowd to do through a challenge? Insights, innovations, solutions – we’ve seen the crowd (internal and external) deliver these to great effect, but often implementation is something that organisations, or people closest to the problem, are best-placed to deliver themselves.
Thanks again to Cass for the partnership, the speakers for their insights, and to the very engaged audience who challenged us with their thoughtful questions and observations.
Authored by Siobhán Gibney Gomis, Director of Business Development at InnoCentive