Orchestrating solvers collaboration. There could be “team project rooms” with group-work tools such as digital white boards, wikis, online chats with voice over IP, shared file space, group/virtual meeting capabilities, mind mapping applications, and the like. Groups could adapt these tools to their convenience and collaborate from different locations and time zones.

Innovators attempting to tackle a challenge would have all the means in the platform to find the kind of collaborators they need, according to their expertise, skills, etc.  They are also provided with guidelines to negotiate the collaboration terms – to be submitted in the platform – tools to work in collaboration (like mind mapping and others), and to record each participant’s contribution so as to fairly distribute the rewards if their solution is selected. Cooperative challenges could be organised following these methods and rules:

  • Each solver could contribute to a project through three kinds of actions: submitting a proposal, changing an existing proposal and voting on a proposal
  • Creating a proposal by using a Wiki
  • If solver X believes that solver Y´s (author of the original proposal) solution is good but needs improvement, he/she can submit a change on Y’s solution, through the wiki. Then:
  1. A) If solver Y accepts X’s proposed change, the changes would be incorporated to the original solution and only the changed version would be visible in the wiki. Both X and Y would earn money if the solution is awarded: solver Y (the creator) would earn more money, but other solvers would be rewarded based on the relevance of their contribution.
  2. B) If solver Y does not accept the change, there would be two versions: the original version of solver Y and the modified version of solver X. If the modified solution is awarded, solver X would get a significant share of the rewards – much higher than if solver Y had accepted X’s proposed change – and so there would be a high cost for solver Y to overlook other solvers’ proposals for change, so to make solvers seriously consider any suggestion. This would also decrease the number of proposed solutions and make it easier to choose a winner. If the solution chosen is the original solution (Y’s), solver X does not get any reward.
  • Any solver could vote only one solution or up to three (giving three points to the best, and optionally two to the 2nd and one to the 3rd). A). Voting an awarded solution would be rewarded – even more if you vote at the beginning – but less than proposing a change.

The section 3.7 on rewards and reputation system develops in further detail how this collaborative innovation system might work regarding the effects of every kind of contribution.

In the cases where two or more innovators want to collaborate from the outset in crafting an innovative solution to a challenge, there could be two kinds of collaboration deals:

  • Asymmetric collaboration deal: an innovator looking for technical support in a part of the solution would propose to another one to share a given percentage of the award. The other innovator could negotiate his percentage of the award, and if an agreement is reached, they would form an official team that would submit the solution under the terms agreed upon. The terms of the agreement would be published on the platform site.
  • Symmetric collaboration deal: in many cases, solvers might want to join their forces on the equal bases, so long as the workload is expected to be alike or the expertise and skills are expected to be equally valuable. The agreement would be published on the platform site.

Solvers who are part of an official team would not be allowed to submit individual solutions for that challenge, and would not be allowed to be part of any other team. However, two or more teams could merge to form one team, but only if all members of all merging teams agree. Innovators having collaborated on the same team would be able to rate each other in terms of collaboration and professional skills, to help them build the deserved reputation.

In the case of Ideation, consisting of brainstorming challenges that require only brief submissions on the most cost-effective approach to a solution based on rather a few requirements, would work similarly to what was previously explained, except for not creating groups, given the simplicity of the challenge and the likely short deadline for set up. Each call to contribution should have a landing page explaining the requirements to qualify, the definition of the desired inputs, the submission deadlines and the assigned rewards.

This article is from the White Paper “Envisioning Open Innovation in Destinations”, available for download in www.envisioningtourism.com/whitepapers

Posted by Jordi Pera

Jordi Pera is an economist passionate about tourism, strategy, marketing, sustainability, business modelling and open innovation. He has international experience in marketing, intelligence research, strategy planning, business model innovation and lecturing, having developed most of his career in the tourism industry. Jordi is keen on tackling innovation and strategy challenges that require imagination, entail thoughtful analysis and are to be solved with creative solutions.

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