Innovation Insight: Online Meet Offline

Innovation Insight: Online Meet Offline

By Jessica Day

By: Jessica Day

Open innovation and crowdsourcing have become synonymous with the internet. Nearly all of the most popular crowdsourcing projects of the past ten years have happened online. Think about the Netflix prize or the SuperBowl fan-generated commercials – all of these competitions happen online.

There are several reasons that an online environment is ideal for crowdsourcing solutions. It allows for collaborative feedback and group validation of ideas. Instead of just receiving submissions into a suggestion box, oftentimes it is possible for a community to form around those ideas, for others to weigh in on their efficacy or improve them with their own suggestions. It’s also great, because it allows for global collaboration in real-time. Anyone, anywhere can join the discussion and thusly solutions can come from some of the most unlikely places, as well.

Every year, IdeaScale rewards leaders in open innovation for their unique approach to innovation or their well-documented best practices in the open innovation awards. One of the benefits of this process is that it surfaces unlikely tactics and unique method for managing successful innovation programs. And one of the themes of this year’s competition was marrying online challenges with offline events.

In-Person Engagement. When the Department of Energy launched their SunShot Catalyst initiative in order to find ways to make solar energy cost effective, they would host in person events that educated people about the initiative. Simultaneously, the DOE also placed links to those in-person events on their online community in order to create excitement and additional engagement. In the end, SunShot Catalyst became the fastest funding-mechanism in the Department of Energy.

Celebrating Success. Similarly, once great ideas have been selected and implemented, finding an offline venue to honor those suggestions and inspirations in a large group setting. One of the ways that this happened was when Scentsy Inc congratulated all the top idea contributors at their annual national convention called the Scentsy Family Reunion. It was during this convention that every completed idea was announced and that they closed the community for further ideas until their next challenge. So not only did their offline event demonstrate the efficacy of their program, it highglighted the destination for all future ideas for their company.

If you’d like to learn more about the IdeaScale OI Award winners, download the full story here:

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