Groupsourcing – The New Face of Digital Collaboration and Sharing
by Mark Sivy
Groupsourcing is an effective strategy for meeting the evolving demands of today’s increasingly complex digital workplace. The group advantage stems from being able to initiate, maintain and strengthen communication with like-minded individuals or with people who complement one’s skills and knowledge. Regardless of whether you’re networking as an entrepreneur, experienced professional, business owner, learner, or executive, there are numerous advantages of establishing mutually beneficial relationships and circles of influence.
Think of groupsourcing as a specialized membership-based and evolved version of crowdsourcing. Actually neither of these is a new concept, but current technologies and social networking have given them much more range, value, and media attention.
Through discussions with others who have similar interests and talents, groupsourced networking can provide remarkable opportunities for individual learning and sharing of information. The availability of tapping into unique talents and knowledge enhances the value of participation of other members and the group as a whole. In addition, group involvement provides the perfect environment to ask questions and receive expert feedback.
Likewise, group members can take advantage of economies of scale by creating a collective of expertise, skills, and knowledge through association with complementary members. This can occur through the formation of temporary, limited or full partnerships or the exchange of products or services. Additionally, there’s the opportunity to lower individual risks or investment by pooling capital resources, whether it be tools, funding, or space.
Networking within a group also offers greater market access by being able to tap into the needs of other members or get leads to opportunities outside the group. Related to this is the ability to reduce competition and strengthen one’s position by forming associations, affiliations or collaborations with other members.
The support that a group offers can equip members with the confidence to take more well-informed calculated risks by providing greater concept reliability and reducing personal bias. Working as a team, individuals can encourage one another, creatively solve problem, be more innovative, brainstorm new ideas, and provide different perspectives. These advantages lead to being more motivated and confident, thus stimulating increased efficiency, productivity and profit.
Given what has already been stated, through online connections and interactions, a professional group can collectively create proposals and leverage broader crowdsourcing benefits and opportunities. Doing this can result in additional content, ideas, input, or service contributions from what is usually a large and loosely connected online community base. This community can range from people who have similar interests to those who want to invest money.
Whether attending in-person events or participating in online forum discussions, individuals can gain professional advantages via connections, services or business partnerships. Dale Carnegie once said, “Smart business people understand the value of networking. Put simply, expanding your contacts improves your chances to build good relationships, discover leads and generate increased sales.”
Reflection Point 1 – Crowdsourcing is the process by which the power of the many can be leveraged to accomplish feats that were once the province of a specialized few. ~Jeff Howe
Reflection Point 2 – There occurs the beautiful feeling that only humanity together is the true human being, and that the individual can be cheerful and happy only if he has the courage to feel himself in the Whole. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)