Crowdsourcing: How to Distill Innovative Ideas | Summary and Q&A

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September 19, 2018
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Stanford eCorner
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Crowdsourcing: How to Distill Innovative Ideas

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Summary

Many managers fail to innovate because they don't leverage the power of crowdsourcing to generate new ideas. In this video, the speaker discusses the importance of tapping into the potential of crowdsourcing and how to do it effectively. By going beyond the boundaries of the organization and gathering ideas from the outside, managers can gain a fresh perspective and generate valuable insights.

Questions & Answers

Q: Why do many managers fail to innovate?

Many managers fail to innovate because they don't tap into the power of the crowd to come up with new ideas. They solely rely on internal sources, limiting their perspective and creativity.

Q: How many organizations have been studied regarding crowdsourcing?

The speaker has studied 20,000 organizations that have crowd-sourced for over 80 years. This extensive research provides valuable insights into the potential benefits of crowdsourcing.

Q: Why is it not a sign of weakness to gather ideas from outside the organization?

Going beyond the boundaries of the organization and gathering ideas from the outside is not a sign of weakness; it is a strategic move to generate new ideas and gain a fresh perspective. It allows organizations to tap into a diverse range of experiences and knowledge.

Q: How should managers view the crowd?

Managers should not view the crowd as an amorphous mass of nameless contributors. Instead, they should think of the crowd as being composed of individuals with unique desires and experiences. Recognizing the individuality of contributors helps in understanding and catering to their needs.

Q: How can crowdsourcing help an organization?

Crowdsourcing can help an organization in multiple ways. It can generate new ideas, provide alternative perspectives, and introduce innovative solutions. By leveraging the power of the crowd, organizations can tap into a vast pool of talent and creativity.

Q: How can managers get started with crowdsourcing?

To get started with crowdsourcing, managers can begin by posing a question or problem to the crowd. For example, asking the crowd how they would improve the Stanford football stadium. By initiating the conversation, managers can begin to source ideas and insights from the crowd.

Q: What is the key to successful crowdsourcing?

The key to successful crowdsourcing is focusing on value rather than volume. Managers should aim for a few ideas that make a real difference for the organization. Quality over quantity is important to ensure that valuable ideas are not overlooked.

Q: What kind of ideas should managers pay attention to?

Managers should pay attention to the strangest and most surprising ideas that emerge from crowdsourcing. These ideas may initially seem unconventional or unusual, but they often hold the potential for true innovation. Evaluating the unexpected can lead to breakthrough solutions.

Q: Why is it better to focus on a small range of ideas rather than gathering a large crowd?

It is better to focus on a small range of diverse ideas rather than gathering the largest crowd possible. By doing so, managers can ensure that valuable ideas are not easily overlooked. Increasing the number of ideas without considering their quality can dilute the focus and effectiveness of crowdsourcing efforts.

Q: What should managers keep in mind when leveraging the power of the crowd?

When leveraging the power of the crowd, managers should pay attention to signals that the crowd gives. It is important to listen to the users, evaluate the ideas generated, and take the time to consider even the strangest suggestions. This ensures that the full potential of crowdsourcing is realized.

Takeaways

To innovate and generate fresh ideas, managers should not hesitate to leverage crowdsourcing. By tapping into the power of the crowd, organizations can benefit from diverse perspectives, alternative solutions, and unconventional ideas. The focus should be on quality rather than quantity, paying attention to the strangest and most surprising suggestions. Evaluating and considering even the unexpected can lead to breakthrough innovations.

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