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Highlights From Our Live Chat with Brightidea
editorial

Highlights From Our Live Chat with Brightidea

Last week, we kicked off a new feature on Crowdsourcing.org--our first live chat with a big name in crowdsourcing. For our first conversation, Carl Esposti moderated a discussion on open innovation with Nicholas Selk, Director of Professional Services at Brightidea. Selk manages all client programs for the open innovation and ideation leader, dealing with such big names as GE, Cisco, American Express and Kraft.

Here's a few of the highlights from the hour-long discussion:

Nicholas Selk on "What is open innovation? Is it a synonym for crowdsourcing?"

1.From my perspective, open innovation refers to when a company goes outside their own organization (employees) for ideas or insights. 2. Yes, the big picture is going out to the 'masses'. If done right, it can be extremely powerful.... Open Innovation in my book is meant to go outside one's company, however crowdsourcing can can be done internally and externally. I guess I refer to innovation as the entire process, and crowdsourcing as mainly the front end.

Selk on measuring return on investment in open innovation:

ROI is not always that easy to define in open innovation but there are some great clients using our software. Bosch uses our software to gather new product ideas and has already implemented many of them with our help. Check out our blog for an example. Also, GE... Largest OI challenge in history, 90k participants, over 200m funded for breakthrough energy solutions.

 Selk on "When should a company consider an open innovation initiative and why?"

There are several reasons why you should consider: 
1. Solving a problem (GE)
2. Gaining customer insights (HessExpress) > they launched something called 'ideabank' which they hope to gain insights
3. Feedback on existing products (Adobe, Bosch) 

 Selk on "Why should companies engage their constituents in the Ideation process?"

Crowdsourcing is vital to the front end of the innovation process. You will collect more ideas, create a two-way dialogue, and if done correctly, bring a purposed collaboration for brand engagement.

Selk on content control, idea plagiarism and other intellectual property issues in open innovation:

There will always be concerns of IP, if the Terms and Conditions are set properly, there is a better chance...it's not easy. Most T&C push back on the submitter to verify information is not plagiarised.... Since we use the term Open Innovation as 'going outside' your organization, there is very little 'closure' to most challenges. However, I have seen some examples of restricting to certain partners/vendors. Internally...there are campaigns that lend themselves to be more closed off, especially if the topic is 'sensitive.'

Selk describes the open innovation life-cycle:

I like to break it up into 3 phases: Front end: this is where the ideas come in...However, it's very important that a few rules are followed. The company itself has to be engaged within the community; you have to be ubiquitous, mobile, FB, twitter, etc...it has to be frictionless. Then, once you have the ideas, you can't stop. In my eyes, ideas are nothing without 'proposals.' Just getting a bunch of ideas on an ongoing basis won't solve problems. They need to be combed through and tagged, merged, clustered, etc.

Once you have ideas, you need to use proposals (Brightidea software tool) to help facilitate an idea to a point where someone will fully understand the idea. Most ideas are not 100% baked. They need revisions, guidelines, etc. Brightidea's proposals help build ideas so they get funding. Brightidea has a full suite that collects the ideas, method for prioritizing, and advance scoring, and even a tool to help track ideas.

Selk on engaging community through social media:

First you must identify the company's goal or purpose--what is the reason you want to use crowdsourcing?  Then, you have to identify the community. Who do you want to go after? Then identify the technology, do you want to use FB, Twitter, Wiki, etc...

That's just a sample of the many great insights from our first live chat, moderated by Crowdsourcing.org founder Carl Esposti and featuring special guest Nicholas Selk of Brightidea. Nicholas can be reached via nselk AT brightidea.com. Keep an eye on Crowdsourcing.org for future live chats.

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