Yet every day associations leave significant assets in the form of member interest, expertise, and intellectual capital to accrue value in lower-yield, traditional forums. While the world around us is experimenting at a dizzying pace with all varieties of social media and consumer-generated content and innovation, many associations still rely on fairly conventional means to tap into the collective wisdom of our member crowds.
Any effective financial portfolio will include diversified investments--some riskier than others--tied to specific, long-term desired returns. Any effective association's knowledge-management portfolio should be similarly conceived and diversified. We need a mix of traditional approaches that are low risk and likely to yield a consistent, albeit not always the highest, potential return coupled with more progressive, less predictable forms of member engagement with a greater potential payoff.
These are the two introductory paragraphs from my February 2007 article on some of the possibilities of open-source and crowdsourcing for associations. You can read the complete article here.