Better Leadership through Crowdsourcing

CrowdsourcingCrowdsourcing isn’t just a tool for innovation and hiring anymore. According to a Fast Company article, crowdsourcing can provide an excellent roadmap for more effective leadership.

Leaders can get great answers by asking the right questions, and it’s a skill more leaders need, according to Stanford professor Tina Seeling in her book inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity. Social media has clearly opened the door for more collaboration across industries and sectors, but business leaders can turn to the crowdsourcing model to improve customer experiences and build better products and services.

As workplaces become more collaborative and the traditional hierarchies of organizational structures erode, businesses have to look outward – to their customers – to identify ways to improve and innovate. The wisdom of the crowd can drive great results for building better business insights when companies ask the right questions.

For many business leaders, knowing the right questions to ask isn’t always easy. Inviting customer criticism and feedback in the public space of social media seems counterintuitive. The open business model that embraces collaboration and innovation internally and externally hasn’t been fully realized across all industries. Regardless, the notion business leaders have all the answers and are the knowledge centers of their organizations stifles business development and innovation.

So how can you become a better leader by asking the right questions?

Here are four ways leaders can be strategic in tapping their own organizations for wisdom and insights from Michael Papay:

  • Go Fast and Lean. With internal collaboration platforms and tools, it’s easy to pose questions to employees and customers and have answers in near real-time. Questions about how to improve process and product on your business’s social outposts will give you valuable information about how you’re doing and what you can do better.
  • Make Less More. Focus your questions on one or two areas you’d like to see the greatest improvement. Is it customer service? Is it the sales process? Internally, target those questions on job satisfaction, company culture, and morale. The data is more focused and relevant if you ask a few strong questions compared to a 10 question survey.
  • Create a Great Experience. Whether you’re surveying customers or your own internal staff, make it engaging and meaningful. The experience should pull them into a process where they see where others are anc can shape direction.
  • Let the Data Drive. One great question can point directly to the next great question. Customer and employee feedback can give you insight for decision-making. 

All you have to do is ask.

If you needed to ask just one question today to move your business toward stronger results, what would it be?

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