Thursday, 9 April 2009

CO-CREATION’S 5 GUIDING PRINCIPLES or.... what is successful co-creation made of?

In challenging times new rules apply. Companies and organisations are searching for tools that can help them win battles. Daily challenges have to be faced. Future growth paths have to be found. Is Co-creation the answer? It might be if you are open for it. But only when done properly Co-creation will truly deliver. Co-creation is more than a tool; it is a Program of Change. There are 4 types of co-creation and 5 guiding principles to any successful Co-creation venture. When applied in the right mix a wonderful result will be served. Successful Co-creation cases from all over the world have been analysed and conclusions have been drawn.  The results are below.

The 4 Types of Co-creation
Co-creation exists in many different ways. Which type to choose is depending on the challenge at hand. There is always an initiator, i.e. the party that decides to start a Co-creation initiative. This can be a company or just a single person. One or (many!) more contributors will be joining along the process. The initiator determines who can join and under what conditions. 

Hence, there are two main dimensions in Co-creation:

Openness: Can anyone join in or is there a selection criterion somewhere in the process?
Ownership: Is the outcome owned by just the initiator or by contributors as well?

These two dimensions lead to the four types of Co-creation:

Club of experts: A very specific challenge is needing expertise and breakthrough ideas. Contributors are found through a selection process. Quality of input is what counts (e.g. Nokia)

Crowd of people: Also known as Crowdsourcing. For any given challenge, there might be a person out there having a genial idea that should be given a podium. It's the Rule of the big numbers (e.g. Threadless)

Coalition of parties: In complex situations parties team up to share ideas and investments. Technical breakthroughs and standards often happen when multiple parties collaborate (e.g. IBM)

Community of kindred spirits: When developing something for the greater good, a group of people with similar interests and goals can come together and create (e.g. Linux)

The 5 Guiding Principles in Co-creation
In Co-creation it is a fine line between doing it right or not cracking it. It is a people’s business. Successful Co-creation initiatives all share 5 common rules:

Inspire participation: Trigger people to join your challenge: open up and show what's in it for them (e.g. P&G Connect & Develop)

Select the very best: You need the best ideas and the best people to deal with today's complex issues (e.g. Innocentive)

Connect creative minds: You have to enable bright people to build on each others ideas, both on- and off-line (e.g. Lego)

Share results: Giving back to people - and finding the right way to do it - is crucial (e.g. Apple iPhone App store)

Continue development: Co-creation is a longer-term engagement, in- and outside your company. Only then it will deliver results (e.g. Dell Ideastorm)

This is a summary of a White Paper called: 
The White Paper is available through Fronteer Strategy 
Author: Martijn Pater
Date: April 2009

About Fronteer Strategy
Fronteer Strategy is an Amsterdam-based consulting firm, specialised in marketing strategy. Our key areas of expertise are innovation, co-creation and brand development. We have diverse backgrounds. Our inquisitive nature is supported by entrepreneurial experience and solid business sense.

About Rooftop co-creation
Rooftop is an expert co-creation tool. Unrestricted perspectives, a hand-picked group of people working together, no interference from day-to-day hassles. A pressure-cooker for insight, inspiration and innovation, it serves to create solid, spot-on concepts and strategies. We believe that co-creation is a long-term engagement between clients and people from outside their company. It’s success is expressed in inspiration, enthusiasm and action.


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