In a recent blog post by Intel‘s Enterprise 2.0 manager Laurie Buczek, she reviewed her organization’s 2009 experience with social software. One item caught my eye:
My entire year has been a quest to find quantifiable ROI. I swear I have nightmares with the “Where’s the Beef” lady crackling out a “Where’s the ROI?!” In the fall, we ended a joint effort with finance to look under every stone and quantify what we could. Finance agreed- it ain’t easy. Where we did quickly find quantifiable business value during an ideation proof of concept. Ideas that are discovered and turned into action have produced dollarized return of business value.
What this illuminates is that idea management is a source of tangible ROI for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives. It also points out the importance of designing Enterprise 2.0 communities to optimize the innovation process.
At a conceptual level, there are two modes of engagement by participants in a community: collaboration and competition. Communities can be designed to elicit either of these behaviors, depending on the desired outcome. Care has to be taken, though, because a mismatch between desired outcomes and engagement modes will undermine the effort.
Competition Is a Double-Edged Sword for Innovation
The graphic below describes the spectrum of community engagement:
There are three modes here
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