February 12, 2012

Seen Elsewhere: Crowdsourcing, Experimentation, and Sharing a Work in Progress

Creative Commons Photo: Matti Mattila
In one of my volunteer roles, I contribute content for a feature in the ASAE Executive Management Section IdeaLink newsletter called Seen Elsewhere.  Every few months I share a few interesting websites, blogs, or publications from sources a bit off the beaten path of most volunteer or staff leaders.  With ASAE's permission, I will be reprinting them here, a few months after their original online publication.  Thanks to Joe Rominiecki, Senior Editor, for helping polish my submissions into a more appealing form.

Summary: Three thought-provoking websites, from beyond the association management realm, that offer new ideas for association executives. In this edition, explore examples of crowdsourcing in action, experiments in new forms of management, and a case of learning driven by a behind-the-scenes look at conference planning.

Engaging Members to Crowdsource Solutions and Innovations
Open IDEO.

Companies increasingly look to customer-generated innovations, co-creating products and services with the input and effort of end users. Associations can tap into the collective intelligence of their members by experimenting with the same approach.

IDEO, one of the world's most successful product design and innovation firms, offers an excellent example of the thinking and input stages required to involve large numbers of individuals in crowdsourced thinking, at Open IDEO.

Other examples include My Starbucks Idea and Dell's IdeaStorm. If you're interested in trying this approach, two free or low-cost online software options are IdeaScale and Skild.

Reinventing Management Through Experiments and Hacks
Management Innovation eXchange.

Former Harvard Business School professor Gary Hamel is one of the thought leaders behind the MIX, which describes itself as "an open innovation project aimed at reinventing management for the 21st century. The premise: while 'modern' management is one of humankind's most important inventions, it is now a mature technology that must be reinvented for a new age."

This robust online community explores how to take management to the next levels through hacks, barrier-busting, and stories of real-world management innovations. Begin by reading the MIX Manifesto [PDF].

Facilitating Learning by Sharing a Work in Progress
Learning 2011 Design Blog

Each year, almost 2,000 training and learning professionals gather in Orlando, Florida, for the annual Masie Center Conference, hosted by "futurist, analyst, researcher, and organizer" Elliott Masie. This year, Masie shared almost 60 daily blog posts revealing the design decisions being made for the conference.

Following these posts has offered a rare behind the scenes look at the ongoing deliberations involved in producing a major event. This backstory offered tremendous learning and shows associations how simply describing what we do, as we do it, might be one of the most powerful professional development experiences of all.

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