A warm welcome to the Knowledge Management Innovation section of the website.
To better understand the connections between innovation and knowledge management first let’s define knowledge:
"Knowing, familiarity gained by experience" - Concise Oxford Dictionary
Next we should consider a definition of knowledge management:
"The process of creating value from an organization's intangible assets, that is how to best leverage knowledge internally and externally." - J Liebowitz
(Photo Credit: Desirée Delgado)
You may be thinking what has science got to do with the connection between knowledge management and innovation? But science is strong input source to innovation.
The Oxford English dictionary has the following definition for science:
“The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.”
But interestingly it has the following origin:
“Middle English (denoting knowledge): from Old French, from Latin scientia, from scire 'know'”
So basically science is a body of knowledge that keeps on increasing – many new scientific discoveries and breakthroughs are being made each and every year. These breakthroughs contribute to the ever increasing body of scientific knowledge.
These breakthroughs and discoveries often additionally result in new or improved products which are innovations… For some quick examples think of solar panels, electric cars, led flat panel tv and monitor screens, etc. etc.
(Photo Credit: Andrew Huff)
So knowledge management and innovation are closely linked.
Knowledge management tools enable the innovation management process to move along much more quickly. They do this predominantly by making knowledge more readily available by enabling more and more knowledge to be codified or made explicit, which in turn assists with the problem solving process.
Improved innovation can be dependent on companies developing effective internal knowledge management systems, tools and techniques and additionally on them improving their ability to interact with sources external to their organisational domain.
Having quick, easy and up-to-the-minute access to knowledge experts or to documents detailing solutions to previously solved problems can be extremely valuable in terms of enabling teams to quickly move beyond problem obstacles that could delay the innovation project.
Knowledge is used in order to create value. Innovations provide that value as they keep customers engaged and competitors at bay.
If you have an interest in knowledge management then you might also want to read up on some knowledge management history. Did you know that knowledge management originated in the Second World War?
Alternatively you might want to read about what knowledge management tools are and what components they must incorporate in order to be effective.