A pointer from Rob Laubacher to The Contribution Revolution- Letting Volunteers Build Your Business by Scott Cook (Harvard Business Review October 2008) came in perfect time for watching CNN's inauguration coverage.
The Contribution Revolution author, an Intuit cofounder, "challenges traditional companies to follow the lead of internet superstars—and of innovative peers such as Honda, Procter & Gamble, and Hyatt—in tapping the contributions of countless people beyond their organizations."
And what better example have we seen of the "Contribution Revolution" than how CNN tapped inauguration watchers on The Mall, and virtually, to expand their coverage and perspectives on the occasion. Wednesday CNN TV announced 11,000 videos and photos were uploaded. Has anyone seen a number for how many people contributed through Facebook messaging as the CNN coverage unfolded?
During the pre-inauguration coverage last weekend, CNN unveiled their collective intelligence initiative to create a 3D image of "The Moment". What I didn't realize then is that they were using a Microsoft technology called Photosynth that is required-- a 4mb download-- to view the results.
Regardless of whether the technology delivered as promised, or not, to me the willingness to participate and co-create CNN's "The Moment" points to a world of customer engagement that businesses, as Intuit's co-founder Steve Cook makes clear in the first paragraph of his HBR piece, cannot ignore:
"Our aim was to come up with ways that people outside the company could volunteer their time, energy, and expertise to make life better for our customers. Sound odd? Well, if you’re not conducting an exercise like that at your organization, you risk missing the boat on a sea change that’s transforming business." ~ Steve Cook