Practice 4: Reconstructing Needs for Creative Associations
In this chapter, we examine the participants’ behaviors during a crowdsourcing event undertaken by a managed health-care insurance company. The executives conducted an internal crowdsourcing event to solicit from the claims professionals innovative ways to service customers. We found that those posts initially offering a specific need coupled with a specific solution garnered the most attention by participants, but did not necessarily lead to innovative solutions. What led to innovative solutions were participants peeling away the need, then reconstructing the need into a creative association only tangentially related to the initial need. Thus, innovation in crowds does not emerge from simply listing requirements for the solution, but rather, from needs being creatively reconstructed to inspire others to think of new solutions.
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