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Look at the website Kickstarter, which basically allows people to ‘buy in’ to a project  (crowd funding) and then opt to receive goodies, perks, merchandise or the product itself in return.

I’ve been involved in a couple of these recently. When I say ‘involved’ I mean I fronted up some cash to ‘support’ the creation of two computer games. Geeky I know, but that’s OK. I don’t mind that moniker.  When I say ‘support’, I don’t mean in some kind of Cameron ‘BIG SOCIETY‘ way, I mean simply that I want to play that game when it’s built and published and I want some perks alongside, in addition to simply buying the game.  As it goes, it’s good value, as the game alone costs something similar to what I put in, but in Kickstarter land, you get rewarded for your early faith.

This got me thinking about my usual favourite topic – could we apply the Kickstarter approach to a business IT system implementation, and you know what? I think we can.

The Kickstarter and crowd funding model to build awareness and buy in

Look at what Kickstarter does – you go to the project page, you ‘sign up’, then you receive updates – not just flim-flam, but meaningful, “this is where we’re up to” type updates. it’s invariably video updates and then invariably an email ‘newsletter’ which sits on the site as an update.

This activity prompts you to ‘pledge’ some cash, and in so doing, you’re able to choose your reward.

Let us assume (for now), that all affected employees in an organisation are ‘signed up’ for this process (i.e. email updates at a minimum).  Let’s assume that email isn’t too frequent, and provides hooks to get folks to go and find out more.  Once on the project page, let’s assume the videos there get people interested and the ‘sign up’ to hear more / more frequently.  I wonder if we can get people to pledge their time, or just pledge their support and in return get stuff – for example, we could offer nifty tricks and tips, cheat sheets, short cuts, special reports for people to access, additional training modules, access to members only website etc.

What you’ve basically then got is your ‘champion network’ defined for you, and your ‘super users’ identified, bought in and keen.  No coercing, no cajoling – they came to you.

Next project I lead change / comms/ stakeholder engagement on, I’m going to do it the Kickstarter way.  Thanks for that Kickstarter! 🙂