Low Tech Crowd Sourcing

It is strange but this week both my world of internet information in the form of blogs, social networks, RSS feeds etc. and my world of work seem to have been dominated by a focus on Enterprise 2.0. It got me really excited about the possibilities in a business organisation.

But is this all something new or is it just good ways of working that have been around before repacked for the 21st Century?

There are times when we have an idea, vision or thought of what could be done. However we don't quite know the outcome in exact detail. We have a feeling and unclear image of the outcome. It just feels like a good outcome. People call it intuition, application of experience and knowledge or just plain luck. So what to do?

One approach I use in these situations is get together a group of people who have an interest or stake in this area and others who don't but are innovative thinkers. I then put forward my unclear thoughts and open it up to the group of people. Is it mad, does it feel right, what do people think? The group then verify and build on the thought. This can result in my initial unclear outcome image being shot down in flames (and I learn something), becoming a clear outcome, an even better outcome or an outcome I didn't even think about. The group also feel ownership and empowerment as they helped to create the outcome.

This is what I am now going to call low-tech crowd sourcing. I may even patent it and call it LoweTech© Crowd Sourcing after my surname! It is getting a group of people together for a 30 minute discussion on an initial thought (I am a big fan of 30 minute meetings as they are focused and get results) using low tech tools such as the telephone or just meeting face to face. And most importantly it works.

So maybe crowd sourcing is LoweTech© crowd sourcing for the 21st Century

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