Conventional wisdom says that you cannot write a book by committee. Charlene Li of Altimeter Group is trying to dispel that idea, to some degree.
As she’s researched and written her forthcoming book Open, Charlene has relied on her blog and Twitter account to collect ideas such as the title of her book. It looks like her approach is to ask very targeted questions (“international examples of ‘open’ organizations and leaders needed”) to meet a need, which I suspect sparks better input than open-ended queries.
Crowdsourcing is nothing new, but I believe thought leaders like Charlene are taking the right approach in reaching out to readers and followers for ideas. At the least, the very act of soliciting input raises visibility for her book in the early going, and I’d like to think that even rejected ideas might prove useful for another endeavor down the road.
Firms like Forrester are looking at ways to crowdsource their research. The Forresters of the world (correctly) take a careful, measured approach, assessing whether it’s possible to actually create a valid sample through, say, the Twitter universe.
What’s the best example of crowdsourcing you’ve seen in the development of thought leadership?