You understand that crowdsourcing is an awesome strategic solution to finding the next version of your company's product. Your manager doesn't know what crowdsourcing is. In order to take the leap and make the recommendation there seems to be a different kind of challenge ahead. What if they turn down the idea? What if they use it against you for trying to take the lead? Suddenly a choice presents itself; stay silent or silently exit (and your gold record idea goes with you).
Let's get deep for a moment and look at this from a few other angles. Few activities conjure up dread like a call to customer service can. Between 25-digit account numbers, elevator music and endless re-direction, the whole process can have you reconsidering the need for cell phones and wifi in the first place. You might not know this, but many reps are authorized to credit customers hundreds of dollars to keep them happy. All this, just to keep one person plugged into their system. Why?
When a customer cancels their membership, companies call this "churn," and it's an important concept. Churn is the term to describe people leaving an organization. That includes employees, as well as customers. Reducing churn is important for many reasons. In the simplest of terms: a happy customer is more likely to refer others and to purchase from you. An unhappy customer (or employee) who leaves does more than reduce revenue. They may also diminish reputation and direct potential clients (or employees) away.
This is important to know no matter who you are: entrepreneur, employee, or customer, because churn affects far more than profits and losses.
A different kind of churn influences outlook and ideology.
Get Out of Your Head
“The tragedy of the world is that most people are governed by their negative experiences.”
How many people have experienced disappointment or pain which has caused them to turn against an entire community, idea, or opportunity? Jaded nihilism is representative of the lowest common emotional denominator. Think of how often you've thought “I tried once, that went poorly-- I’ll never make the mistake of trying again!”
How many scientists has the world lost because of a science fair project gone wrong?
How many brave leaders has the world lost because of disheartening outcomes?
What opportunities have you avoided because of your former experiences?
The amount of churn around your pursuits and passions is a result of fundamental attribution error. Imagine the relatively minuscule data set that makes up your lived experiences. Your past is in no way indicative of the limit to what's possible. Unfortunately, it's all too easy to believe the opposite...and give up or shy away.
What can you do about it?
Check your assumptions. Swing out, and consider that your company wants your intelligence, your ideas, your out-of-the-box thinking more and more and more. Our attitudes get us halfway there, when you recognize there are virtually no limits -- you get to decide the destination. Imagine a world where people (and managers) are driven by positive expectations? Imagine how that world would generate positive experiences more frequently, and widely accessible. That's exactly the mentality it takes to win at crowdsourcing.