Can Knowledge Management Help Innovation?


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Slides from KM Edge contributor and APQC President Carla O'Dell on knowledge management and innovation

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Can Knowledge Management Help Innovation?

  1. 1. Can Knowledge Management Help Innovation? Carla O’Dell, Ph.D. President, APQC January 2009
  2. 2. Why Innovators Care About KM <ul><li>One definition of innovation is the combination and/or synthesis of knowledge into new and unique combinations. </li></ul><ul><li>Best practice firms use KM approaches to become more efficient innovators , especially in scientific and technical domains. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Less redundancy and relearning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use lessons learned </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reuse knowledge and information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All of which… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gives higher yield from the innovation process </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lowers risk </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Five Ways KM Can Support Innovation <ul><li>Reducing time to market </li></ul><ul><li>Creating a supportive environment and culture </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing access to expert knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration across boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Making knowledge worker time more efficient. </li></ul>
  4. 4. 1. Reducing Time to Market <ul><li>Time to market often determines market share and regaining the value of development. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wasting time reinventing the wheel hurts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational amnesia or selective memory </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New people entering product development teams need to come up to speed quickly and not repeat past learnings. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>KM can enable smarter decisions, faster. </li></ul>
  5. 5. 2. Creating a Supportive Environment <ul><li>Senior leadership communicates direction and vision </li></ul><ul><li>Enabling “Creative Abrasion” in groups </li></ul><ul><li>Enabling and reinforcing collaborative behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Providing resources to enable sharing and innovation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time,money; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People (“facilitators”); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Process and technology </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recruiting the right people and linking the right people together </li></ul>
  6. 6. 3. Access to Expert Knowledge <ul><li>People need access to people with experience and expertise </li></ul><ul><li>KM, using Web 2.0 and social networking, has provided new cost-effective vehicles for access to expertise. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experts become more visible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A wide array of people with experience becomes available </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. 4. Boundary Spanning <ul><li>Collaboration is the fountain of innovation. Global companies report that more profitable new ideas come from the boundaries—partners, suppliers and customers. </li></ul><ul><li>When people actively share knowledge within and across boundaries, actionable knowledge results. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>R&D talking to market research and sales people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical experts supporting field people </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communities of practice can be structured to enable innovation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communities of practice around a body of knowledge, industry or product </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 5. Making Knowledge Workers More Efficient <ul><li>Highly-paid people are spending too much time looking for information. </li></ul><ul><li>Estimates in two of APQC’s past studies indicate up to 20% of R&D or engineering time is spent looking for existing information and knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>KM can help manage content so that access is easier and faster, for better results </li></ul>