Forums/Community: Helping Each Other Out

What does winning mean?

Arjan Tupan
posted this on April 10, 2011 12:50

I know there has been some discussion on the platform about this earlier, but sometimes I have the impression that community members think of the challenges as competitions. Somehow this does not always help collaboration. For me personally, the competition element of winning is to find the best ways to improve the situation as described in the challenge. Of course, I'm honored if one of my concepts is chosen to be among the best solutions, but it's not really important to me. How can we find ways to improve collaboration even further and have people link more to existing inspiration and concepts, build on that and really collaborate towards great solutions?

 

Comments

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Vincent Cheng

Great point Arjun! One approach to change the dynamic might be to rename the "Winners Announced" stage to "Selections Revealed", after all these concepts are simply a selection based on community evaluation, and the experienced judgement and implementation capabilities of the sponsors & IDEO. This would 1) emphasize the CONCEPTS developed by the community (vs focusing on the individual WINNERS), and 2) recognize that these are just the ideas chosen by the selection process (i.e. other ideas could also be worth pursuing, and should not be though of as "not winners").

At the same, it's important to recognize that different people have different  underlying motivations, and to balance exciting those who are achievement oriented with encouraging collaboration as much as possible (ideally by harnessing achievement motivations towards collaboration).

April 10, 2011 19:51
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Vincent Cheng

Oops, sorry about the slip up on mispelling your name Arjan.

April 10, 2011 20:01
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Arjan Tupan

Vincent, thanks for your thoughts. Very insightful. I think you have a great point with the balancing. What triggered my question is that you see often very similar concepts arise, often without a link to the already existing one. Your remarks made me think that maybe it could be an idea to have a 'combine concepts' option, so that a concept is attributed to more than one member. Another option would be to give contributors the option to 'acknowledge' commenters builds. For example, in one of my concepts I had some very useful comments. I have updated my concept accordingly. What if during the updating of a concept, you could select comments that have been great builds. You'd get a sort of 'virtual team' that helped develop the concept, and the commenters can get some extra collaboration/concepting DQ points (maybe 2 of each, or something like that). That would maybe stimulate collaboration even more, plus also play into the motivation of more achievement oriented community members. What do you think?

Oh, and don't worry about the name. I know you were talking to me ;)

April 10, 2011 20:19
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Vincent Cheng

Absolutely agree that the virtual team and extra DQ points that OpenIDEO tried out on the maternal healthcare challenge (through the addition of a refinement stage), could work very well on other challenges (and perhaps easier to implement than "combining concepts").

April 10, 2011 23:21
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Nathan Waterhouse

Hi guys, this is a great thread and because it's something that's on our minds a lot (and has been since last fall!) I thought I'd join in. We actually shifted the language during the first month of launch from winners announced to winning concepts announce, but i see your point. I wonder if we could still make the language aspirational whilst also describing the moment in time?

Regarding the attributing comments idea and the merging concepts idea. I thought we'd give you a sneak peak into a feature we have in the pipeline. I won't go into too much detail for now as we still have to flesh it out, but we have been playing with the idea of increasing collaboration, just to your point, but within the concept. Meaning: rather than just comment on someone's concept, you could actually help them improve it, kind of like the way a wiki works. Anyway, don't want to say too much more just yet as we're not quite there yet, but thought I'd share this as it's very close to part of what you're talking about I think.

Thanks again guys for making OpenIDEO an amazing community.

April 12, 2011 02:59
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Arjan Tupan

Nathan, thanks for the sneak preview. Sounds like a very interesting feature. A bit of a game changer, maybe even, because concepts become less owned by one person. I'm sure you're looking at it, but I think it's important to have the 'au/edit trail' and discussion functions of wikis available then as well.

April 12, 2011 05:38
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Vincent Cheng

Very cool Nathan. Thanks so much for joining in, giving us a sneak peek, and, of course, all you've done to make OpenIDEO so amazing!

The wiki idea is indeed quite interesting. I do think it's very important, with such a feature, to think about how to allow collaborative edits while preserving different people's unique point of views (which is where I think Arjan was heading, about the importance of history and discussion functionality). Unlike something like a Wikipedia article, where there is theoretically a "correct" version that can be edited towards and discussed based upon predetermined standards (e.g. evidence supported facts), OpenIDEO Concepts will sometimes converge, but also sometimes branch into multiple paths, without being able to easily pick just one path as "right". For example, Arjan could post a brilliant concept to which I make an edit that I wholeheartedly believe to be an improvement, but he's sure weakens it considerably. Arjan and I might have fun editing back & forth, but it might not be the most productive way to move forwards.

I'm not sure what the best solution to this is (balancing collaborative convergence with creative divergence, while keeping things simple & easy to use), and I'm sure the OpenIDEO team has already been considering these issues, but for what it's worth, here's some musings:

  • Perhaps edits can be approved by the original contributor. This only affects which version is initially displayed when viewing the concept, though all proposed edits/version are also accessible for viewing. And of course, if someone is making edits that aren't getting approved for the initial display, they could decide to create a new concept that builds on the original concept.
  • Alternatively, edits could be discussed and then voted on by the community. Concerned about the high level of complexity and involvement this might entail, but maybe these can be limited by restricting the wiki functionality to the "refinement" phase of a challenge.

 

As for the title of the final selection stage, absolutely agree that we need to find the right balance with the language. Anyone else have any wording ideas?

April 12, 2011 06:59
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Arjan Tupan

Vincent, spot on re where I was heading :). And thanks for clarifying it.

April 12, 2011 07:24
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Vincent Cheng

Update: OpenIDEO's new applaudable comments functionality certainly helps to surface potential edits that resonate with the community.

April 21, 2011 16:09
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Arjan Tupan

Yes, they are great, aren't they!

On a different topic. Left you a message on Facebook. At least, I tried. Did you see it?

April 21, 2011 18:14