Wikinomics and Corporate Learning

The idea that people who use products should have input into their design is not entirely new. There have been many episodes of user-driven creativity in the history of invention, which scholars such as MIT professor Eric Von Hippel have shown through their research.

As Don Tapscott points out in his book, Wikinomics , steam engine makers in 19th century England collaborated openly with mine owners to improve the efficiency of the steam engine used to pump water out of coal mines. A more recent example comes from BMW. When it came time to rethink the features for future models (such as GPS navigation), the company released a digital design kit on its website to encourage interested customers to design these features themselves. Thousands responded and shared ideas with company engineers, many of which have since turned into valued business initiatives.

Now BMW hosts a “virtual innovation agency” on its website, where small and medium-sized businesses can submit ideas in the hope of establishing an ongoing relationship with BMW. Increasingly smart companies see co-creation with their customers as an important way to develop new products.

[tags]Wikis, Corporate Learning[/tags]

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About Jeanne Meister

Jeanne C. Meister is a best selling author of three books, internationally recognized consultant and keynote speaker. Jeanne is Partner of Future Workplace, a consulting firm dedicated to assisting organizations in re-thinking, re-imagining and re-inventing the workplace. Jeanne was recently voted by her peers as one of the 20 top influential training professionals in the United States. Jeanne’s name is synonymous with the establishment and institutionalization of global corporate universities. Jeanne is the author of three books, Corporate Quality Universities and Corporate Universities. Jeanne’s latest book is, The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today (Harper Collins, 2010) is in its 10th printing.No information is provided by the author.

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