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Using students to crowdsource business strategy

09.15.2013
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A growing number of sites are looking to tap into the student knowledge base.  Piglt for instance are looking to crowdfund students university education, with students offering backers their services in return for financial support.  Collaborizm is another site that aims to provide students with a platform for their talents.

Arguably the boldest however is The Growth Strategy Company. Kind of anyway.

On the surface, they seem like a run of the mill consulting company in that they offer a range of business strategy type services.  What makes them interesting however is the Growth Strategy Student Competition they run.

The competition sets students the challenge of saving a failing company, which this year was, Globe Dye Works, who they suggest were an iconic manufacturing company that was in steady and terminal decline.  Global Dye Works shut down in 2005 after 140 years in operation.

The competition is open to all university students with a valid ID, with entries open from the 25th September until the 20th October.  The winning entrant will receive a $1,000 prize, with second and third earning $750 and $500 respectively.

“The demand for growth strategy by corporations will increase substantially in the future.  This competition gives students an opportunity to get in front of that curve by practicing with a real world case,” said Wayne Simmons, CEO of The Growth Strategy Company and successful serial entrepreneur.

“It’s an outlet for ideas that are disruptive and creative, yet grounded in the real world and the discipline of growth strategy,” said Keary Crawford, COO of The Growth Strategy Company.

The challenge is indeed an interesting one, although it kinda falls short in a number of ways.  There are numerous examples of such intellectual crowdsourcing in other fields, so it stands to reason that business strategy will eventually follow suit.  It would have been really bold if the students could have been cut loose on a real, live case study rather than one from nearly a decade ago.  That would have been a much better learning opportunity, whilst also giving the students fantastic networking opportunities at the organisation in question.

We have already seen companies such as IBM open up their strategic process to all comers from within their organisation.  How long until people begin to invite outsiders in too?

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