It is a common trend to be in favour of open innovation and co-creation. We have all heard about the wisdom of crowds, bringing the outside in, and we all believe in "none of us is as smart as all of us”. Collective wisdom considers “multiple opinions and forms of intelligence. Wisdom in groups is demonstrated by insight, good sense, clarity, objectivity, and discernment rooted in deep caring and compassion”. We connect on political, social, and economic strategies and understand psychological, spiritual and cultural roots.
Co-creating and collective intelligence/wisdom are forming a hybrid forces, a calling to reclaim the participation of people in groups as positive, useful, healing, life affirming. We alter the way that we see the world in order to solve problems together.
It is a fact that humans today love to participate in problem-solving online, to have a voice and to express themselves, to be a part of the story-telling of new media, and to be a part of the collective intelligence process. The cultural, economic and political changes brought on by online intelligence sharing, via different media, have been truly amazing and reflect extraordinary cultural shifts in the 21st century. There is a huge opportunity out of there, people feel right to collaborate to solve higher issues, higher order of problems or matters.
Enabling is one thing, participating quite another. Mass dialogue just does not simply happen. There are many reasons why people feel restrained to freely engage and exchange ideas. Tech by itself will not overcome these obstacles. Captivating your audience requires purpose, encouragement and reciprocity. We need to create a context for mass dialogue and co-creation, unleashing the tacit knowledge and passion of people around brands, products and organizations.Collective intelligence and the modern technologies are not enough to establish a new way of working and make things happen. The collective intelligence concepts are out of there since a century and internet since 30 years, and only few good examples of right implementation this powerful force, such Wikipedia to mention one. Co-creation is the way, the path to bring the collective intelligence and the collective wisdom to real and practical applications of the society, using the real engine of the progress, the people and company entrepreneurship.
But what is co-creation, really, and how do you do it right? Co-creation is a system where ideas are shared and repeatedly fed back through groups of specially chosen individuals. They filter, refine and evolve those ideas. Co-creation involves working on new product and service ideas together with the customers who are going to buy them. We are all customers and we all use products/services that are good but that can be improved with our precious advices of whom spend more time on using them than their inventors or creators.
Lots of people, even experts and technicians, know how to improve products, they know the answers to simple questions or questions that have been asked before but when the questions are new and more complicated individuals tend to have hunches rather than answers. They know part of the answer but not all of it. Bring enough people with hunches together and collectively they will be able to work out the answer. Co-creation is the way, a win win solution for companies and customers, or simplier, for people.
That's it. Simple. But not easy.