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Associations need creativity to tap power of crowdsourcing

Many groups have numbers needed to make ‘wisdom of the crowd’ work, but must find opportunities to use that advantage

July 13, 2018
By Walt Williams

When Jeff Morgan became CEO of the Club Managers Association of America in 2014, he knew changes were needed at the organization, so he turned to the wisdom of the crowd.

“I said we need to marry the understanding of the association with the knowledge of the members, because I need to learn about clubs and I’m not the expert,” Morgan said.

Morgan sent out a member survey and asked the association’s volunteer committees to brainstorm ideas. Some would call such activity crowdsourcing, but for Morgan, “I would say it is member engagement.”

Crowdsourcing actually must operate within very specific parameters, according to Lior Zoref, a crowdsourcing researcher and author of “Mindsharing: The Art of Crowdsourcing Everything.” Many associations could take advantage of the strategy as a result of their large number of members, if they are willing to think outside the box.