One thing that I was taught when I was young was that sharing information with others and not keeping secrets could make you friends with a lot of people. In today’s market, it looks like major corporations are starting to leverage that axiom to further expand their corporate dominance.

Being a good corporate citizen no longer means charitable giving to local communities, and hiring interns from local schools. The definition has been transformed by some of the top corporate citizens to include direct participation from the community in identifying the next products, services and trends. In the case of IBM’s 2006 Innovation Jam, they allowed their corporate crème-de-la-crème to openly collaborate and share ideas with common citizens, and the result was an impressive 46,000 ideas from employees, family, friends, and partners, of which 10 were identified for further funding.

What has become clear is that cloud-based idea management platforms, which are configured for open innovation, are quickly becoming the tool of choice for these modern age corporate citizens to proactively engage their communities.