We see a lot of discussion about the importance of knowledge and innovation in the recent past and it continues. It is very important to have a clarity on What is knowledge? What is innovation? What are the links of knowledge and innovation? What is knowledge management? and How these influence knowledge and innovation?
KM like learning is the mechanism that enable knowledge creation, from which innovation emerges. These mechanisms act externally and internally within the organisation and facilitate a flow of knowledge to spark innovation from the people and ensure meaningful value to the organisation.
People will easily agree that knowledge is essential to innovate. Moreover, innovation creates new knowledge, which then can be used to innovate further in a positive feedback loop. And this process is fundamental to ensure sustainable success in an organisation.
KM to succeed, it is very important to create a learning environment, as knowledge resides in the minds of individuals. This conducive environment, if created, will enable and nurture social relationships that stimulate knowledge sharing, which further stimulate knowledge creation and innovation. Information Technology potentially enhances the knowledge sharing potential in an organisation by making it easily accessible to the info-seeker on the network.
People and their knowledge are the building blocks from which new knowledge can be created. Learning and KM are the mechanisms that enable knowledge creation from which innovation emerges.
Innovation can occur by serendipity, but for sustainable innovation, from which collaborative and competitive advantage emerge, needs a systematic and effective management approach based on knowledge and learning that creates a positive feedback of knowledge creation.
To attain sustainable innovation through KM, organisations should bear in mind the following four points:
- Define a clear Knowledge Strategy
- Create a Learning Environment
- Build Social Relationships
- Make use of Information Technology