If you’ve ever rated your Uber driver, tagged your location on Facebook or added an image to Google maps, you’ve already taken part in crowdsourcing. Online giants like these use crowdsourcing to gather input from their user-bases. It allows them to reduce friction, minimise costs and increase income. So why is this method of collaborative information gathering growing at an ever-increasing rate? It's simple:
Two heads are better than one…
..And what if you could go further than that and use the expertise of a whole city, country or even the world? Crowdsourcing allows you to do exactly that; Through the power of the internet and social media, answers to questions can be discovered quickly and at scale. Reaching beyond your usual go-to knowledge base allows you to engage with a larger audience and access more information than ever before.
Excuse me, do you work here?
It’s likely that in larger organisations some staff will have never interacted with each other. They may be on different teams or floors, different cities or even countries. By setting challenges with a common goal and inviting all staff to share their knowledge, crowdsourcing not only sparks new relationships but also strengthens existing ones. This paves the way for serendipitous outcomes, with a community that feels valued and part of something.
“Community is much more than belonging to something; it’s about doing something together that makes belonging matter.” – Brian Solis
Somebody already knows the answer
To find out who, you just need to ask. The people who know a product best are the people who use it and the staff who talk to them. Staff are the frontline of your organisation and are in the ideal position to help you discover new fantastic ideas. Crowdsourcing provides an opportunity to tap into existing knowledge already in the minds of your team. Engage with staff and you might reveal ideas to increase efficiency, grow sales or even cut costs.
Crowdsourcing provides you with different perspectives
When organisational challenges arise, they are often solved with little or no input from staff or customers. But if you crowdsource, it not only helps get solutions and also invites new people to be part of the process. Do it right and you'll gain insights and ideas from diverse individuals to help solve problems both big and small.
Investing in people means invested people
When people are part of building a solution, they’ll continue to invest in it, simply because they were a part of creating it. Asking for input in the challenges you face makes people feel appreciated, especially when they see their ideas put into action.
“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” Simon Sinek
Crowdsourcing is an excellent way to engage with anyone important to your organisation. Staff and clients are the lifeblood of any enterprise, so hearing their voices and using their knowledge is invaluable. Whether it's to create or improve a community or gather information - the question isn't ‘Why should you crowdsource?’ but ‘Why aren't you?’