With the acceleration of market changes from social media, new technologies, and increased competition, old-school corporations are at risk of becoming brittle and fragile. Traditionally operated companies must establish resiliency by adapting to new models emerging in the marketplace.
Corporations that tap into their own crowd—the empowered people—stand to gain in three distinct ways.
1) They connect, embracing ecosystem diversification. Natural ecosystems that thrive during environmental stress often have characteristics of multiple failover points and have strength in bio-diversity, providing adaptability options for a variety of situations. These natural systems can also self-mend, just as diversification is a catalyst for trying new solutions at a rapid pace. Corporations that tap a broad, diverse crowd of customers, prospects, and partners for innovation are able to quickly create new ideas, solutions, and products beyond the scope of the more narrowly defined capabilities of a dedicated product team.
2) They adapt to changing market needs, on-demand. Crowds can quickly respond both with and to change, as the parts can quickly re-form or maneuver. Unlike the slow process of hiring through HR, crowds can quickly be tapped using online communities to meet sudden spikes in needs or quickly dispersed when not needed. Companies that tap into the crowd are able to quickly change direction, rather than waiting for more formal partnerships and alliances. This versatility allows for movement in many directions, as long as a community has already been fostered. Savvy companies can also learn how to tap into new business models beyond 'selling' to rent their products, time, or space to the crowd, on demand, like Toyota, Marriott, BMW, and the W hotel have done.
3) They enable the crowd to carry a greater part of the load to grow in scale. Crowds are powerful. They're a source of renewable energy that can sustain on-demand, if properly nurtured. The passionate crowd will provide new ideas, resources, and even help to create and produce new products and services. If managed well, a company can empower the crowd to market, sell, promote, and advocate on its behalf without additional investment. Corporations that tap their empowered crowd will benefit from marketplace resiliency by reducing risk through variability, being agile by flexing when needed, and scaling by leveraging others to handle the load.