“A successful prize gets people to do what they want to do anyways – it just helps them to do it more successfully.”

– Robert Sutton, behavioral psychologist

On Thursday Matthew Lees, Vice President and Senior Contributing Editor of the Patricia Seybold Group, released his latest research report entitled “Best Practices in Crowdsourcing: Leveraging the Wisdom of Crowds for your Business.” The 14 page report looks closely at several crowdsourcing examples, from Dell’s IdeaStorm to My Starbucks Idea, in addition to providing an excellent ten-point framework for how to run effective crowdsourcing programs. In his report, Matthew recognizes that “crowdsourcing offers a customer-centric approach to tapping into the collective experience, knowledge, creativity, and skills of your customers as they help you be more innovative and effective.”

Idea Crossing is featured in a special section of the report on “Crowdsourcing through Competition, Contests, and Challenges.” We maintain that “crowdsourced competitions” are great compliments the customer ecosystem, which may include forums, blogs and idea sites. A well designed competition can engage sub-communities across all areas of the larger community and focus individuals or teams on specific issues or goals that are timely and relevant to the company. Along these lines, the author further acknowledges that “a community-focused Idea Site isn’t the only technique for crowdsourcing. Another approach that has been gaining traction in recent years is the crowdsourced competition (or contest or challenge)…. Such competitions are both fascinating and frequently effective.” We concur, Matthew!

About the Patricia Seybold Group

Founded in 1978 and based in Boston, the Patricia Seybold Group provides consulting, research and advisory services, peer groups, and interactive workshops. The Patricia Seybold Group helps clients to design and continuously improve their customer-focused business strategies and processes using our proven consulting methodology, Customer Scenario® Design.

CEO and founder, Patricia Seybold, is the New York Times best-selling author of Customers.com and The Customer Revolution. Patty’s latest book, Outside Innovation, is available now.

About The Author

MATTHEW D. LEES is a Consultant and Vice President at the Patricia Seybold Group. He brings over 15 years of experience in helping organizations leverage technology to build stronger relationships with customers. As an Analyst in the group’s Customers.com Research Service, his current focus is on customer and partner communities and social media. He
specializes in the business impact of social technology, particularly its ROI, and the related organizational challenges.

Matthew was previously the principal of Lees Consulting, a provider of strategic and tactical services to businesses and not-for-profit organizations on their use of technology and the Internet. In 1996 he was a founding member of MaMaMedia Inc., the premier independent Web site for children, where, as Vice President of Customer Service and Relationship Management, he and his team grew MaMaMedia’s online community to more than 5 million registered users.

With two degrees in physics (MS Georgia Tech, Atlanta GA; BS Trinity College, Hartford, CT), Matthew has taught physics and astronomy, developed virtual reality games and museum exhibits, and designed the optical systems for medical blood analyzers.

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