I recently came across a story of an initiative by the collective driven innovation discovery platform Quirky, where their network of inventors is being leveraged to come up with product concepts to help hurricane affected communities recover and rebuild. It’s a sign of the times when the words co-creation, open innovation and crowdsourcing are no longer just buzzwords, with a spate of platforms prevalent for creative co-creation, product idea and information crowdsourcing, open innovation, peer to peer production. Organizations are increasingly hitting the wall seeking creative solutions from within, as ingrained cultures resist innovation and blinds them to ideas that originate externally. I’ve seen umpteen instances where radical innovation has come from not just external sources but completely unrelated industries.
An apt example of a platform to crowdsource innovation for business goals was the #UnitedByHCL Hackathon by IT Services leader HCL Technologies. They sourced problem statements from their ecosystem of customers and partners which were then exposed to a global community of competitive coders. Hackathon challenge owners from global companies emerged after a 24 hour spurt of frenzied coding with functional, near complete prototypes across A.I, Block chain, Augmented Reality, Digital and Automation – innovation that would have cost a pretty penny otherwise.
With the 21st century’s next big disruptive idea increasingly set to emerge from a gang of developers working out of a garage rather than your R&D department, have you considered how to reorient your innovation culture unconstrained by the boundaries of the organization?