Collaborating with the Crowd

Thumbnail 1
Roland Harwood @rolandharwood

Co-Founder 100% Open

Idea Thumbnail Image
Thumbnail 2
Shelley Kuipers, @shelleykuipers

Founder/ CEO, Chaordix

Here Roland Harwood and Shelley Kuipers, CEO Chaordix share insight into why they work so well together and how businesses can benefit by embracing the crowd.

100% Open is a British based company dedicated to helping businesses work in partnership with external communities and partners. Connecting the Dots in order to solve complex challenges is in their DNA – so they seemed an obvious bedfellow to this blog.

 

After discussing their approach to collaboration with Roland Harwood, co-founder of 100% Open, we were introduced to Chaordix – a company that helps businesses crowd source market insight and has collaboration at its core.  100% Open and Chaordix also work together; in fact, they like working with each other so much that they’ve collaborated on multiple projects – pooling their experience and expertise to assist brands, such as Orange and E.ON.

 

Roland Harwood @rolandharwood
Co-Founder 100% Open
Thumbnail 1
Shelley Kuipers, @shelleykuipers
Founder/ CEO, Chaordix
Thumbnail 2
  • 1.

    Do you see a growing appetite in businesses looking to collaborate openly with the crowd?


    The internet was invented 20 years ago and it has had all kinds of impact on our lives, but we’re only just starting to see the impact on big organisations. Traditionally big organisations have existed for economies of scale, making it simpler to do things in-house. The web has changed all of that. Often it’s quicker, faster, cheaper and easier to do stuff externally and there are now lots of reason to open out a business. In the 20th century the default position was to be secret and closed, I think the 21st century default position will be open and transparent. There will always be some things that businesses won’t want to share, top secret information like the recipe for Coca-Cola, but the default is shifting. Organisations large and small must become more agile and respond to the reality of the connected world.
  • 2.

    So, where can businesses looking to adopt Open practices get started?


    So, the first thing is that you have to give to get. You have to open a little bit to see the value of open. It’s a leap of faith to some degree. Doing a little, small scale pilot that is safe, localised and below the radar can help. Lego has a phrase “people are more likely to act their way into a new way of thinking, rather than think their way into a new way of acting.”
  • 3.

    Once started, how can businesses encourage innovations to flourish?


    One of our mantras is ‘innovation is a U shaped process’. What we mean by that is - it is fun at the beginning when you’re meeting interesting people and coming up with great concepts; then it is fun at the end when you’re releasing products and making money. But it’s generally bloody awful in the middle. What’s important when passing through the bottom of the U is, firstly, try and get through it as fast as possible. Set hard deadlines, build momentum and don’t let up. Secondly, create a safe space where a team can work through the bottom of the U without getting slowed by external forces. We call this our Innovation Airlock. It’s basically a process that is open at the beginning and the end, but in the middle it’s closed to help it through the bottom of the U.
  • 4.

    What are the challenges of collaborating?


    We operate on a shared risk, shared reward model because product or service development is a typically risky business; if all the risk sits with one partner it’s not a recipe for long-term success. It’s often challenging to figure that out with partners, but it’s necessary. Lego is doing something interesting with Cuusoo. The cool thing about this crowd based business model is that Lego shares one percent of the revenues not only with the originator but with all the people that helped build the design. One percent doesn’t sound much, but it’s potentially one percent of a very big number. They’re forgoing short-term profit for a lot of long-term benefit both reputation and revenue wise. It’s important not to be too selfish when collaborating; don’t grab all the rewards yourself and don’t take all the risk. Be honest, open and trustful – sometimes these can be unusual words in the business context when everyone is talking about efficiencies and return on investment. To learn more about 100% Open’s work check out this Slideshare
    100%Open Business Models & Mindsets
    View more presentations from 100%Open
  • 1.

    Why do 100% Open and Chaordix work so well together?


    We work so well together because we leverage each other’s strengths and we support the opportunities for us both to improve and grow. Yes, there is crossover in our organisations so some might see us as competitors, but I think we provide really good support for each other as partners. We also share core values. That is something that we assess carefully when we’re looking at other partnerships. We ask ourselves - are we still going to be having dinner with this partner three years from now? We don’t necessarily look at it just from the bottom line. Ultimately our success will be determined by our client success, so it is important for partnerships to focus on creating that client success.
  • 2.

    Why is collaborating with the crowd important?


    As an organization you’re never going to have all the smartest people working for you so you’ve got to be creative to work out how you are going to tap collective minds globally. The crowd is an asset, organizations are beginning to realise that it is an asset that needs to be developed, invested in and grown over time. That cultural shift is the big differentiator. Whether it’s your employees, your customers, your future customers, customers that have left you, your supply chain – all of those stakeholders form a community or a crowd, and there’s great technology today that allows you to have that crowd on demand, work with them and reward them from their participation.
  • 3.

    Do you see a growing appetite in businesses looking to collaborate openly with the crowd?


    We tend to work mostly with organizations who have already invested an internal effort into exploring crowdsourcing, who really want to get a leg up against their competition, or who have recognised that they don’t have the solutions inside their four walls. I think there is an appetite for it, but there are always going to be early adopters. The Telecom industry and consumer packaged goods businesses are two areas that we are seeing a lot of development in. Businesses that have a really strong loyalty component already are also doing lots in the space.
  • 4.

    What makes a successful collaboration?


    We have developed some principles in a white paper called 8 Successful Principles of Crowdsourcing. The one key thing is that everyone has to be really invested in the success. We have found going into organisations that if there is a stakeholder who is not really invested or is sceptical, then that can risk the whole success of project. If a customer is taking a leap, saying let’s try and make a difference to our organization, you need all hands on deck.

Leave a Reply