Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Facilitating Innovation Through Knowledge

A key element in the success of organisations is their ability to capture, manage and share knowledge, learning and best practice amongst the workforce. However knowledge is often confused with information, and thus organisations typically address the issue by implementing mechanisms for collating documented information and making it available for people to access. (See my earlier post on Developing Knowledge Sharing Communities for Business)

What this usually results in is some form of electronic library available through intranet or shared folder access, but little or no attempt to encourage discussion and evolution of that information for wider organisational use. People are left with the responsibility of connecting disparate bits of information into appliable knowledge. The amount of effort needed to do this is often prohibitive and the result is that people typically ignore the majority of information available to them and organisations are unable to leverage the pools of knowledge they hold.

Studies show that innovation arises at the confluence of knowledge from different fields, so in economic downturns like this, surfacing and sharing knowledge could be a crucial factor in survival.

In light of that, here's a quick look at the different avenues that people use to find and engage with information.

Mechanisms For Finding Knowledge