From a leadership perspective, CEOs need to rely on the knowledge and experience of their internal personnel. But it’s also equally crucial for employees to not only understand what is happening inside their companies, but also why it’s happening. Crowdsourcing with your employees can provide a successful way to achieve both goals.
I know that internal crowdsourcing works, based on a recent painful experience at my own company, Trace3, an IT tech company. Our business was growing very quickly two years ago, when suddenly things started to break inside our management chain. The president and a vice president quit within a two-week period because they disagreed with our growth strategy.
I thought the best way to distinguish ourselves in the market was to invest heavily in building a services business. My colleagues felt it was better to keep our top engineers on the sales team, rather than assigning some to the services team.
In an exit interview with the president, he admitted that he would go along with my suggested changes during management meetings, but then he would turn around and tell his team that I was crazy, and to disregard my ideas and just keep doing what they were already doing.