Crowdsourcing for Qualitative Researchers

I was honoured to be asked to write an article about the impact of Crowdsourcing for the QRCA VIEWS magazine this fall. Collaborating with some very insightful editors, I examined the challenges and opportunities that the shift toward "The Participation Economy" (which includes Crowdsourcing) presents for marketing researchers who are using traditional qualitative methods to attempt to gain predictive insight about customers and the marketplace ... in order to help their clients innovate. 

The QRCA organization is the Qualitative Research Consultants Association which brings together qualitative and mixed methods research professionals from across North America. The QRCA annual conference is the BEST place to meet other marketing research practitioners who are working in the insights and innovation space. You'll learn a lot - the conference is focused on peer education - and make new friends and contacts. As a result of attending and presenting at their San Diego conference in 2013, I'm a member of the dynamic QRCA Creativity + Innovation Special Interest Group and have never looked back!! There is just so much sharing and learning among the members and through special guest webinars. Take a look at: how to join QRCA.

A digital version of the article is here: "The Participation Economy: from personal relationships to crowdsourcing."

The myth of the tortured innovator

by Marty Neumeier

by Marty Neumeier

Lots of great material in this latest book, The Rules of Genius: An innovator's guide to creativity by Marty Neumeier.  

> The book's link:  

> Marty's Medium link. 

Rule #32 is one of my favourites: SPEND LONG HOURS IN THE JOY ZONE.

An excerpt: "When your work contains an element of joy, you learn faster. This is called "ludic" learning, or learning by playing. [...] When you're happy, you're more creative. When you're unhappy, you lose access to your intuition. Happiness and creativity are mutually supportive. [...] Ludic learning is often the doorway to genius."

> Deeper dives on this topic by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi on Flow and Creativity.



Rounding up some media that inspired me in recent weeks ... I'm going to try to do this on a semi-regular basis. Here we go:

Not sure why I haven't been reading everything Michael Lewis has ever written?!! The recent pieces about his book on Wall Street's recent trading shenanigans, Flash Boys, has lead me to read his 2001 book, The New New Thing, (as well as a suggestion by my friend, Danelle Greebe). It's a great examination of the Internet explosion's impact on business models, valuations, and the gambling mentality that is just now beginning to wane in the tech world. All seen through an entertaining ethnographic examination of Jim Clark, founder of SGI & Netscape.  
BOOK ON Amazon:

Shawn Achor visits Google to discuss his most recent book, Before Happiness. In his last book, Shawn described why happiness is the precursor to success. Here, Shawn explains that before we can be happy or successful, we need to first develop the ability to see that positive change is possible.
VIDEO AT Google Talk :

From one of the world's leading data scientists, a landmark tour of the new science of idea flow, offering revolutionary insights into the mysteries of collective intelligence and social influence.
VIDEO AT Google Talk:

Debbie Millman, one of my heroes, about actively creating your life. She's so heart-breakingly honest about her early choices in her education and career, self-loathing, and what she's learned about life. 
ARTICLE & VIDEO AT Brain Pickings:

"I’m a big proponent of “busy is a decision.” You decide what you want to do and the things that are important to you. And you don’t find the time to do things — you make the time to do things. And if you aren’t doing them because you’re “too busy,” it’s likely not as much of a priority as what you’re actually doing." - Debbie Millman

Show (Your Talent), Don't Tell

There's a classic marketing phrase, "Show, Don't Tell," which reminds practitioners to demonstrate their product's benefits to consumers (vs. simply claiming the benefit with a passive description). In a similar manner, finding an effective and fair way for your organization's potential hires to "show" their talent (before they join your organization) is something that crowdsourcing can help with. 

In the April 2014 issue of the Harvard Business Review, the article "Auditions Are the Best Way to Hire" profiles the CEO of Automattic (the company behind Wordpress), Matt Mullenweg, and his advice on building a strong team. They found that the typical interview and résumé screening process was still yielding too many new hires that didn't work out. They needed to see how potential teammates performed and meshed with current employees, so they now do "tryouts" or auditions.

"The more we thought about why some hires succeeded and some didn’t, the more we recognized that there is no substitute for working alongside someone in the trenches." - Matt Mullenweg, HBR Magazine

Advanced open innovation crowdsourcing platforms offer this same opportunity for participants to demonstrate their talents in a variety of interesting online activities, contests and programs. Creative innovation challenges can be designed within a persistent crowdsourcing community to allow companies to observe the crowd's behavioural trends and understand whether a participant is most comfortable in the role of (for example) an idea generator, a social connector, a leader, a follower, a mentor, or even a lurker. By observing the participation of participants over time, with different styles of challenges presented, emergent data trends can offer up valuable information that can help uncover hidden talent in an employee population, filter out creativity naysayers in a supply chain, or source trendsetters in a global customer community. Talent is revealed and confirmed over time.

HBR Magazine, April 2014

HBR Magazine, April 2014