Uses of Collective Intelligence: Ideation and Innovation



Overwhelmed by Intelligence

This series will unpick how Collective Intelligence methods are already being used by organisations to overcome common challenges. Previous blogs explored what distinguishes Collective Intelligence from other collaborative methodologies, a goal based approached interested in the generation of output through participant interaction.

There are a number of different ways in which the use of Collective Intelligence can be categorised or described – and there is also a great deal of overlap between these methods. These are not mutually exclusive; the most appropriate approach may combine a number of them.

Ideation and Innovation

One of the areas in which Collective Intelligence methods have been most commonly used is for generating ideas and solutions for an infinite range of issues. Organisations are encouraging networks of employees, customers and other external parties to use Collective Intelligence tools to better monitor and analyse their output and interactions.

Many Collective Intelligence tools consist of virtual environments where participants can interact to discuss ideas and opinions or provide feedback on particular topics, seen in services such as Yammer, Chatter or Facebook at Work. Discussions can be on-going or fixed for a specific length of time. Typically, participants can make suggestions, receive feedback from others, as well as rate and comment upon another’s input. Community ratings and commentary on participants’ suggestions can be analysed, identify themes and comments that resonate most within discussions.

Alternately, competitions or challenges can be set, inviting submissions of ideas, designs or solutions in response to a given brief. Participants then compete to provide a winning entry that is judged by the person or group that has initiated the competition. This has been well publicised in recent Space Competitions, with the Ansari X PRIZE and the Google Lunar X Prize established to encourage the development of private industry spaceflight. In some instances, participants’ offerings can also be evaluated and rated by others. However, there is typically no interaction between participants in the actual creation of the submission.

Collaborative design, unlike competitions and challenges, focuses on people working together to produce designs and solutions. Participants can evaluate each other’s input and offer suggestions for improvement. Shared interests can also bring people together in a community to enhance knowledge, share best practice and propose new ideas, seen in the success of Mozilla and its Firefox browser. Various collaborative tools are often used to support insight communities by enabling social networking and discussion.

Find out more by signing up to our webinar on the 24th of February: Collective Intelligence using Crowdoscope

Tools to Generate and Analyse Social Collective Intelligence
Silverman Research
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