Posts Tagged ‘crowdsourcing platform’

New Management Paradigm Is Tribal

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Yesterday I got a bit ahead of myself by reviewing Seth Godin’s new book Linchpin without having read it. I did read the 60-page preview sent to European readers, but the fact that I think the book lacks some meat makes sense given that my American cousins are being treated to an extra 240 pages, so until we Euros get the full package let’s talk Tribes.

There are few books that will get the skeptic in me excited, and it seems even fewer as I get older, but in Tribes Godin did the trick! Of all his books it is the most relevant to my main area of interest – crowdsourcing. To put it in a nutshell this book inspires you to lead, not manage, and explains that by building a tribe you are creating more value than via a typical top-down approach.

It’s a book of ideas, including the one that you should believe in what you do, and try to create change around those beliefs. You do this by inciting a movement, and providing the structure that enables your tribe to communicate and advance your believe. These are what I consider to be some of the underlying principles behind building a solid crowdsourcing platform.

The book explains that technology, and the emergence of the social graph, are facilitating the conversion of groups into tribes, and making it easier than ever to be a leader. These tools are giving individuals more power than ever before, and there is a real opportunity for those who can reach a mindset where, ‘the safest thing you can do feels risky and the riskiest thing that you can do is play it safe’

Beyond the presentation of ideas, Godin goes on to give you practical advice on how to build a tribe:

  • Publish a manifesto
  • Make it easy for your followers to connect with you
  • Make it easy for your followers to connect with one another
  • Realize that money is not the point of a movement
  • Track your progress

He briefly discusses each, and goes on to explain the guiding principles of forming a tribe, but this is no nuts and bolts guide on how to become are leader. That is a problem for many senior managers – they  know that they gotta change, but they need more than a philosophy. I think that this is where platforms specifically set up to help companies and managers build tribes come into play. Of course, there are big ones like Twitter, but I think we will start to see company-specific technologies. I have a few ideas on this that I will flesh out in future posts.

So where do I stand on Godin’s Tribes? It’s an exciting, and inspiring read. Digest it and build a tribe of your own!

Is public policy crowdsourcing undemocratic?

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

The US government is turning to crowdsourcing to shape its public policy via new independent initiative Expert Labs, which will develop a platform to tap into the expertise that sits outside the Federal Government. The Director of the new venture, Anil Dash, is a man with over 250,000 Twitter followers, and a blogger since 1999, so it’s fair to say he has a good handle on social media tools.

In his launch presentation below Dash notes that there are always going to be more experts outside the beltway, but falls short of saying that there is greater expertise. My view is that the main challenge for Expert Labs is going to be to create a platform that filters the volume of ideas into a meaningful flow for government to make use of.

Dash’s ambitious aim is that by leveraging the Expert Labs crowdsourcing platform, the magnitude of the issues that the US government successfully tackles will be increased. On the other hand, I imagine that critics of the approach contest that democracy is already a perfect example of crowdsourcing, and that since the crowd has cast its vote based on an election manifesto, having a second election of ideas is undemocratic. These concerns will need to be mitigated by the scope of the platform’s influence.