Thursday, September 9, 2010

Open Collaboration for Ideas

Started talking about Open Innovation. One part that really intrigues me is open collaboration. The idea here is similar to what people would do in a brainstroming meeting or any meeting in which ideas flow and are created, or refined. Albeit, these are currently closed processes with internal cross functional teams for many.

But here is the fun part – how about done within a totally open environment

Lets say I want to build a product idea. I know what the brief is. I have defined the unique elements of the desired outcome and listed some of the mandatory elements of the final product/solution. Then, I put this out into a virtual community.

Then, folks I have never met begin to add ideas, some probably pragmatic, some zany, and some real thought provoking insights. This would be collaboration in a fantastic real time environment. As facilitator (as well as participant), I get the opportunity to refine and push directions in the next round of real time ideation.

Potential applications for ideation
1. ideation for new products
2. solving a process issue related to any work process
3. writing a song
4. building a customer presentation
5. potential ideas for a new book
6. a new application for hand held device

Potential applications for problem solving:
1. taking on a difficult management or employee issue
2. how to deal with a problem customer
3. financial issues, such as escelating costs, inventory, r3educing accounts payables

The list goes on, but I have to say, an open collaboration in a real time environment seems very interesting. The two things that are needed are:
1. Clarity of the problem in a strong written format
2. An open forum made up of the types of people (not too narrow) that can apply their brain to the issue

I am not the first to think of this, and in many industries, this is surely already being used. Any interesting ideas or applications out there?

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