You may have heard of crowdsourcing as a way for the public to contribute funds or ideas toward a shared cause but I recently saw the concept deployed in a new way. Even though I live in a small town 900 miles from Washington D.C., the FBI has posted billboard messages throughout the city requesting tips about anyone involved in the riots at the Capitol. It’s another example of the power of engaging others, albeit in an unorthodox way.

Maybe your organization doesn’t need billboards or a national campaign to gather information but is there a way for you to modify the idea? Perhaps you could solicit employee referrals on a broad scale through social media instead of a literal billboard. Maybe you’re a college seeking intern or clinical placements for your students and should cast a net with the public, not just your alumni. Or it could be that you would benefit from connecting with others who have knowledge about your problem and possibly could help provide solutions.

The FBI has moved upstream from posting “Most Wanted” posters in post offices to asking people to help identify who the offenders are. Think about how can you ask for help earlier and more widely than you have previously done.


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