- Innovate key KM processes and tools to implement the strategy and achieve the vision.
- Seek user feedback and continuously implement, improve, and iterate.
The second part was previously covered in KM Programs: Implement, Improve, and Iterate. This post addresses the first part – innovating KM processes and tools.
How to stimulate innovation
- Ask communities of practice, both internal and external, for ideas.
- Follow good examples from other organizations, such as the Netflix prize, P&G Connect & Develop, IBM Jams, and InnoCentive.
- Conduct experiments to test new methods. Use analytics to analyze the results and pick the ones that are most effective.
- Ask for suggested improvements, use rapid prototyping to try them out, and then iterate and improve.
- Enable innovation by supporting integration of diverse tools. Encourage skunk works projects.
- Encourage the formation of book clubs, discussion groups, and brainstorming sessions to get people thinking about new and better ways of doing things. Take the best ideas and implement them.
- Hold regular innovation challenges, tournaments, and jams.
- Ask people to use collaboration tools such as enterprise social networks (ESNs) to discuss ideas for improvements, new approaches, and breakthroughs.
- Invite people outside your organization to speak on calls, present at meetings, and participate in workshops. Adapt their methods for use in your organization.
- Set up prediction markets to use the wisdom of crowds to choose between alternatives.
Enable innovation by supporting integration
Supporting easy software integration enables a variety of tools to be independently developed and interconnected. For example, at HP, the following eight innovative tools were created as skunk works projects.
1. KM Stars: Incentive points system for recognizing and rewarding knowledge sharing
2. me @hp: Social networking profiles (like LinkedIn)
3. HPedia: Wiki (like Wikipedia)
4. HP Blogs: Employee blogging
5. HP Bookmarking Server: Social bookmarks
6. HP Uncut: Videos (like YouTube)
7. HP Podcasts: Podcasting platform
8. Pligg: News story submission and voting platform (like Digg and Reddit)
They were then connected by three integration tools:
1. HP Knowledge Network: Intranet portal
2. WaterCooler: RSS feed aggregator
3. Searchable: User interface to multiple search engines
Please read Stan’s additional blog posts offering advice and insights drawn from many years as a KM practitioner. You may also want to download a copy of his book, Proven Practices for Implementing a Knowledge Management Program, from Lucidea Press. And learn about Lucidea’s Inmagic Presto, with KM capabilities to support successful knowledge management programs.
KM leaders must use surveys to find out what users struggle with, what tools they still need, what they use, and if/why they like what’s provided.
Knowledge managers raise awareness, align with business priorities, promote a KM culture, engage leadership, manage infrastructure
Knowledge managers should identify organizational culture/values, leverage elements conducive to knowledge sharing, and address those which are not.
A KM program will only be successful if leaders trust staff to share knowledge effectively and usefully; staff must trust there will be mgmt advocacy