There’s no doubt the coronavirus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19, is causing mass disruption around the world. The outbreak is a human tragedy – the likes of which is a cause for great concern. It’s also having a growing impact on the global economy, forcing businesses to rethink their workforce strategies, putting health and safety first.
These are Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) times. As businesses and governments around the world wrestle with the multi-faceted challenges they’re facing, workplaces are closing and people are self-quarantining. COVID-19 is taking the world by surprise, and raising questions that require thoughtful, people-first responses.
Over the weekend, we’ve been contacted by a whole range of stakeholders – governments, shareholders, customers, businesses etc. – all asking how we can work together to support one another through this challenging time. The importance of crowdsourcing is becoming more acute.
The immediate priority for employers has been on ensuring the health and safety of employees, providing remote and flexible work options for those who can work from home. Reducing psychological stress has also been a priority, as many businesses seek to take a measured and altruistic response.
However, the outbreak has forced many other businesses to question the adequacy of their preparedness for such events. Not all organisations are best equipped to cope with such disruption, leaving many wondering how to respond.
Be prepared for the unprepared
How we respond to unexpected events can make all the difference to the outcome – on a global, social and economic level – but how well we respond is directly correlated with how well we are geared up to respond. How well we are prepared for change.
For example, Wazoku and InnoCentive use the value of open innovation in conjunction with idea management software to help connect and engage workers focused on solving challenges and managing change. In a world where we can’t always use our offices, laboratories, R&D centres and meeting rooms, people are working remotely to advance solutions to the problems our world and businesses face.
We're stronger together
In the face of a rapidly moving infectious disease, the value of crowdsourcing and idea management has never been clearer or more important. Innovation doesn’t stop, nor does the need to innovate. In fact, quite the opposite.
Some of the greatest minds on the face of the earth are currently working on solutions to the coronavirus. Universities, for example, are taking action to continue addressing the challenges of coronavirus and The World Health Organisation (WHO) is working with scientists to gather the latest research and findings to be compiled into a central database.
Wazoku and InnoCentive have a network of global solvers that are working to help companies and governments solve the issues we face around the world. By connecting and collaborating with over 400,000 people, across 195 countries and territories, we are solving problems and helping organisations be prepared for the unexpected.
Using open innovation to co-create with different groups of people, enables us to solve global issues at a faster, more effective rate – something that can prove invaluable given we’re in the midst of a health crisis. If we truly want to come together as a global community, to solve this and future challenges, then we truly need to work together as one smart crowd.
If you’re a business that wants to run a free open innovation challenge, or you want to sign-up as a Solver on our global platform, view the challenges and register here.