By Henra Mayer

According to Gartner’s 2016 CIO Agenda Survey, five practices in particular have the highest correlation to digital performance. It is also unfortunately the things we do least.

Gartner lists crowdsourcing as one of the five practises that drive sustainable value. Crowdsourcing refers to the practice of engaging a ‘crowd’ or group for a common goal—often for innovation, problem solving, or efficiency.

Crowdsourcing can change things. Narinder Singh writes that it is said that in groups of forty or more – the crowd is often better than 99% of the participants individually. The crowd can therefore reinvent your customer experience, create new innovations or even reshape your competitive landscape. It can solve complex problems more effectively and it can be used internal or external to the organisation. As a potential business model disruptor, the practise spans across several areas like leadership, thinking about systems and processes, effective incentivisation, defined stakeholder participation and choosing an approach that is right for you.

Crowdsourcing also creates opportunities for people to interact in meaningful ways. Tshego Khumbane recently shared his experience of interacting with an Uber driver in his post “Not every hero wears a cape, some drive for Uber“. Tshego explains how “Mr Lucky”, the driver, thought him that “there are many ways to cross a river. If they don’t give you a boat then you must swim across it. It might take longer than you want but you’ll eventually get to the other side.” Coupled with a clear vision, crowdsourcing has the potential to help you reach your goals and “get to the other side” quicker!

Apart from the obvious cost and time saving, other benefits like the maximisation of options and more diverse solutions comes to mind! In an article by, Peter Gasca list several reasons to try crowdsourcing. But unlocking these benefits does not happen by itself. Like in the Wired article we referred to earlier, and quoting the words of Uncle Ben in Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility”, me must use it wisely!

A company that understands the disruption potential of crowdsourcing and its role in the new sharing economy is Uber. At Innovation Live/CSW in June, Tarryn Morris, Uber South Africa’s Operations and Logistics Manager will share some insights on how the power of the crowd can propel and transform your business!

This year at Innovation Live and Crowdsourcing Week (CSW) Summit, the debate will be about new business models, trends like crowdsourcing, value derived from innovation practises and technological disruption.

Join the conversation to hear from leaders like Uber, MultiChoice, Altech Netstar, the DTI and other local and global leaders. Be at the edge!