Once we have identified individuals, groups, communities or organisations who have both the relevant skills and resources to work on solutions, we try to learn more about them. This information is going to be very useful when designing a suitable incentivisation approach.
We try to understand three things: blockers, motivators and risks.
Blockers – what’s holding back progress or preventing the development of solutions?
We have narrowed it down to three main causes:
- Lack of awareness of a problem: Either the problem is a newly defined one or it hasn’t been given enough attention. Focusing on the problem will not only help raise awareness, but will also legitimise the work of those trying to develop solutions.
- Lack of fresh ideas: There is a need for new thinking or collaborations to help generate innovative solutions.
- Lack of resources: Solvers may need anything from money, to facilities, connections, training, access to users, markets, or investors in order to develop their ideas.
Motivators – what drives solvers to work on solutions?
These may include a combination of the following:
- Curiosity: An internal drive to solve a problem that is difficult or that no one has ever solved before.
- Recognition: A desire for an external acknowledgement of an achievement.
- Altruism: A desire to have a positive impact on society or the environment.
- Self-preservation: A drive to solve a problem that affects the solver personally.
- Financial reward: An opportunity to be first-to-market, form a partnership, or claim a prize.
Risks – are there any risks problem solvers could be exposing themselves to by working on solutions?
Some of these may include:
- Wasted time: Time spent developing a solution may be better spent working on other projects.
- Financial risk: Money or other resources required to build a solution could be used to develop other projects.
- Loss of competitive advantage: Developing solutions as part of a specific funding programme could impact on a team’s competitive advantage. For example, taking part in a challenge prize could require solvers to share details about the solution they’re working on with judges or the wider public. This may jeopardise their first-mover advantage and expose their solution to the market earlier than originally intended.