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The Top-Down Approach to Crowdsourcing

Idea Campaigns are time bounded, and directed toward a specific problem, with a sponsor who is looking for solutions to fund and implement. Campaigns are tied to the strategic innovation areas of the organization. Furthermore:

  • Campaigns are used where there’s a real need for execution
  • They attract higher levels of innovation by inviting a wider range of perspectives
  • Collaboration between audience members is crucial to developing submitted ideas into more rounded concepts
  • A combination of community opinion & expert knowledge is often used to assess the content

Key Benefits of Idea Campaigns

  • Steer ideation process
  • Get right ideas at the right time
  • Secure resources to implement good ideas upfront
  • Much higher implementation ratio
  • Give innovators a challenge
  • Higher motivation
  • More frequent communications

Learn more: watch the idea campaigns webinar


Campaign Modes

Campaigns can be used to solve a wide range of business problems. We think of the campaign as having different modes. Five commonly used modes are:


The Bottom-Up Approach to Crowdsourcing

Often organizations will want to run continuous crowdsourcing initiatives, or continuous improvement processes. This can be thought of as a bottom-up approach, by allowing the crowd to submit ideas and push them forward. Idea channels are designed to collect ideas for different topics, products, organizational divisions, or any other grouping. Channel owners are responsible for managing the process by which ideas are handled within their channel. This process can be unique to each channel.


Key Considerations for Channels

  • Good to capture ideas for which there is no campaign
  • Different channels & owners
  • Request well-described ideas (need, approach, strategic fit, benefits…)
  • Expect less collaboration
  • Requires an effective review process at regular intervals
  • Clarify responsibilities for reviews upfront
  • Include contributor in review process
Hype Report


  • New ideas emerge through the recombination of knowledge
  • By letting people with different backgrounds and perspectives exchange and recombine their knowledge, we can create fertile soil for new ideas
  • The collaboration process around an idea has typically a large influence on the idea’s value.

Contributor types

Whether using campaigns or channels, collaboration is the key to developing good ideas. The crowd can help us raise the quality of an idea. Different personality types play different roles in the collaboration process, for example:

Creative type

  • Likes to investigate new technologies or business models.
  • Frequently comes up with new ideas.
  • Limited interest for the implementation details.

Inquisitive type

  • Often skeptical, likes to take a closer look at the details & find weaknesses
  • Frequently raises questions
  • Identifies risks & fatal flaws

Helper type

  • Helps to make incremental improvements
  • Adds missing expertise
  • Makes connections to other people & ideas

Doer type

  • Practical orientation, looking at more mature ideas
  • Asks: what does an idea need for it to become reality?
  • Considers which existing resources or technologies can be use

Swisslog Case Study


See an example of how you can increase participation and engagement by looking at the different contributor types, in this case study with Swisslog.