These are some very rough initial thoughts that I hope to develop over a couple of posts.
Building on an earlier post on learning, creativity & innovation summarising
that (a) innovation occurs through learning and (b) learning is a social/ collaborative process (and so innovation is also a collaborative process)
it is clear that innovation is about people involved in interactions with an emphasis on action. It is only through doing things together that tacit knowledge can be exchanged. This is not about converting tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge which is probably a bit a of a myth. Rather this is about social interaction for co-creation of knowledge by doing together – so we can’t just be talking about imitation. So innovation is about novelty, co-creating new knowledge within existing interactions or through new and novel connections. As Ekvall noted, there is value in openess, trust, playfulness and humour in work. So the highly intangible assets of an organisation such as its culture are critical here, pointing to how innovation links HR practices and knowledge management. So innovation practices are intensely practical and organisation specific and wide – innovation cannot be concentrated in the R&D unit, new product development functions or a skunkworks…