Advanced Community Management – Culture of Innovation – Collaborative Use Cases for Crowdsourcing

Claire Richardson - Thomson Reuters, Dan Kovaluk - Leidos


This presentation in the Advanced Community Management Track showed us two different collaborative use cases that use the 'crowdsourcing' concept to engage your community. Thomson Reuters used a single event, while Leidos implemented an ongoing operational strategy to use crowdsourcing concepts to curate innovation/ideas submitted and encourage conversation overall.


The Thomson Reuters event came from a senior leadership request to engage their employees globally, sharing a new corporate strategy. Claire and the team put together an amazing 24 hour event called "Connect Day". Using live chats with global executives, in-person events at global offices, and extensive community advertising Connect Day was a complete success, surpassing expectations.


Along with the scheduled chat events there were live events scheduled in 165 offices globally. These were the main focus pre-event. The live chat, or Ask Me Anything (AMA) part was very successful, with 60 executives all over the globe holding 16 live chats over 20 straight hours, answering 349 questions.


  • The schedule was created with the global community in mind - The CEO started the 20 hour session with a 1 hour live session at 8 PM US Eastern to accomodate all regions globally
  • The CEO was the only executive that had his own exclusive chat window, the other leaders were on panels with 3-5 others
  • Executive panels were not specifically scheduled, the chat window schedule was posted and the executives signed up for times
    • There was not an effort to schedule executives by discipline
  • Each chat was accompanied by a conference call between the specific executive panel and an assigned moderator. The moderator position was assigned to keep on topic and track submitted questions ensuring they were answered/acknowledged
  • In threaded conversations, after 100 responses the thread 'flattens', which can be an obstacle for readability. This limit can be changed in the admin console.
  • Each chat was a discussion document pre-labeled and locked until the hour started
  • An executive would post a blog post at the beginning of the hour, and the conversation propagated organically from there.



  • A table was posted in a document with a list of all the chats, different time zone values, and who the participants were. A link to the chat document was in each line.
  • Virtual posters with links to the blog schedule were created and posted to group walls.
  • System blog post announced the chats/schedule



  • Each question and it's discussion in each chat was branched off into a separate discussion document, then links to each one was posted in the original chat document. Each chat page became it's own searchable Q&A.
  • From this one event, the culture shifted - the community because the new way for employees to interact with executives.



  • 349 employee questions were answered about the new company growth strategy
  • +12% increase in views of live chats
  • 26,000 views of these live chats in the community
  • over 19,800 employees globally took part in Connect Day virtual events


Note: their community is mature, well established and successful.


Dan Kovaluk from Leidos reviewed their effort to solve a business problem using 'crowdsourcing'.


The #1 business problem Leidos had was: How to connect a very distributed workforce to answer questions and determine speed/quality of answer?


The result was a carefully planned strategy. All functionality was out of the box, but this was not just throwing a new space out there. The implementation and scope was detailed and planned.


Key implementation steps:

  • Determine the scope of your crowdsourcing space
  • Created "Ask Your Colleagues" (AYC) space. Used Jive question widgets to manage content
  • Restricted user content types to Discussion only
  • Identified AYC moderator to facilitate space - questions have to be pre-approved


The page design mission was simple: make sure there was no confusion as to what they wanted users to do: ask questions and answer questions.

  • Clear user instructions at the top
  • Place to ask a new question
  • Recent unanswered questions
  • Recent answered questions


The 3 main roles in this space were Moderator, user, and colleagues.


Once a question was submitted, the moderator determined if the question was appropriate, it would be posted in the space and other users could answer it. If not in scope the moderator moves the question to the correct place in the community. If a question reaches a specific age, the moderator and other champions would @mention the right SME's for visibility. When the question is answered, the original poster marks the correct answer, If not marked the moderator would mark the correct answer after a certain period of time.


The results of crowdsourcing answers became the highest participation space in their community. Over 2 years:

  • 4,000 participants
  • 95% with helpful responses
  • 85% with correct answer


Lessons learned were that this can start quickly as a grassroots space, and the scope/size of the community affects results. Leidos continues to drive engagement through prominent display on the community home page. Once the space is launched, their view is the CM for that space should spend no more than 15 minutes per day in that specific space.


The other business problem Leidos wanted to address was how to unlock the ingenuity they knew was in their distributed workforce. They created another space that leveraged the AYC space and extended the content types to discussion and ideas.


Like the AYC space, this was also moderated and closely facilitated. Their process identified thresholds for ideas and a specific review/acknowledgement function.


Once an idea is posted, it becomes active to the community. For an idea to progress and warrant a response from the functional owner, the idea must have 1) 1% of the population has voted (up/down) on the idea, 2) 80% upvote/agree 3) within 90 days of idea posting.


  • Published successes were critical in growing engagement
  • The rules of engagement were such that the employees themselves decided whether an idea progressed or not - that removed the potential to blame 'management' for killing an idea
  • Employee ownership of the ideas improved their results and reduced risk
  • Executives must be agreeable prior to launching effort- so that


Since implementation, all ideas have been dispositioned as follows:

  • 50% of ideas didn't gain enough employee support to proceed
  • 25% of ideas gained management support to implement
  • 25% of ideas proceeded but did not gain management approval to implement (this was after review of each idea)


Both of these efforts increased engagement in their community. It's important also to note that as at Thomson Reuters, their community was established, mature and successful.