Qantas Business Radio: why crowdsourcing will drive the future of organizations


This month’s Qantas Business Radio has a technology focus, including interviews with Nick Leeder, Managing Director of Google Australia, Simon Hackett, Managing Director of Internode, Peter Williams, CEO of Deloitte Digital, Charis Palmer, Editor of Technology Spectator, Ian Hogg, CEO of FremantleMedia Australia, as well as myself.

There are some great insights in the various interviews, and if you’re not going to be on a Qantas flight you can listen to or download the interviews here, though I believe only until the end of August.

My interview was very broad-ranging: we spent some time discussing implications for organizations of a connected world including the role of crowdsourcing and the idea of the global brain, went on to look at how to use the iPad for work and why it is the first technology that is better than paper for many purposes, and finally when newspapers will become extinct around the world.

I spent some time drilling down into the rapidly growing role of crowdsourcing in driving organizations’ performance. Open innovation is an important and well-established class of crowdsourcing, already central to the positioning and strategy of many large companies such as IBM and Boeing. Crowdsourcing as it is more commonly understood today, such as the use of service marketplaces to tap larger pools of workers, is more commonly used by smaller companies, however a number of large organizations are establishing processes and protocols to enable the flexible use of external talent. Companies that aggregate micro-tasks into structured workforces, often accessed through APIs to integrate into business processes, are broadening their purvey from large media companies to a far wider range of companies and types of tasks.

Across all of these instances, we are seeing that those organizations that are earlier adopters of these approaches are experiencing real increases in productivity and performance. As we shift to a global distributed workforce, those who are ahead of the curve in tapping the trend can reap massive benefits.