November 11, 2020 Solving the Open Talent Adoption Problem with the Godfather of Crowd John Winsor
What’s the real tension incumbent organizations have with adopting open talent? Open Assembly’s John Winsor joins Clinton on the Uprisor podcast to share his insights as a crowdsourcing pioneer and global authority on open innovation. Open Assembly helps organizations drive crowdsourcing adoption, and John is also currently the executive-in-residence at Harvard Business School’s Laboratory for Innovation Science (LISH).
Read on for highlights and check out the conversation, below.
GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT
As a young boy, John worked at his dad’s community newspaper in Canton, Illinois, which taught him the importance of giving the readers what they want (and what they wanted was articles about Betty Sue and Joe visiting Peoria, Illinois for a Big Mac and french fries). It was John’s entrepreneurial spirit and experience of incorporating community that inspired him to form one of his early companies—Radar—in 2000. Radar took professional women athletes and made them a “co-creative crowd”. As John put it, “Instead of having them as an audience, why don’t we put them at the top of the funnel?” Radar made the consumer into a co-creator, influencing marketing strategy and product innovation.
THE POWER OF NICHES
Clinton and John then discuss how listening to and leveraging niches is core to crowdsourcing. Adding consumers on your team that use your product helps innovation far more than only having a team of engineers that understand the specifications but not the real-life application. The power of the internet helps close the gap of connecting with the crowd and finding the best solution by using niche audience input. Through crowdsourcing, you can match specialized skills with specialized audiences and needs.
Taskification AND WORKING IN NEW WAYS
Today, we’re working digitally. Yet, as John points out, the structures of how we work are still rooted in the industrial age. He says that, “To me, that’s the bigger tension. We have to get incumbent organizations to let go of their industrial age structures. If we can do that, then we can start working in this new way.” If you’re going to work in a digital space, open talent is a step along the path. And one way to unlock it is through the taskification of work—breaking projects into smaller and smaller components and then delegating to experts to complete each part. The conversation wraps up with John sharing a personal story about being caught in an avalanche, which serves as an apt metaphor for disruption.
“It doesn’t matter if you do all the right things…disruptions happen, and we have to go forward” – John Winsor
Thank-you to John Winsor for sharing his insight and breadth of perspective with Uprisor.