Tag Archives: knowledge transfer

Innovation as knowing, experience and action?

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

predictions for learning in the workplace

Lots of predictions are being made – see here and here.

My own two-cents is that over the next few years, we’ll see that expansive/ double loop learning will increasingly be driven by self-directed, informal and social/ network learning activities – done by me for me, just in time, problem and reflection centred. Individuals will increasingly enable and develop such learning activities using social software applications that span the organisational firewall. Such personal learning environments will be part of the portfolio of knowledge assets that largely travels with an employee from employer to employer as well as being an embedded part of that individual’s day-to-day work practices.

On the other hand, the learning and development function (as an identifiable part of an organisations formal structure) may retrench in to being a transactional service providing adaptive and compliance based learning ‘events’. The alternative will involve, for many (albeit, not all), a significant change effort away from the delivery of learning to focus on identifying, developing and supporting agents of change/ agents of learning (Godkin 2008 ) to drive forward the development of capabilities in organisations.

Of course, like most predictions, I’m expecting this to be mostly wrong but with a small amount of ‘rightness’ to it which could prove to be very interesting….

Situated knowledge management

Thinking through the links between knowledge management and learning via this post from Jack Vinson, reinforces to me the importance of situated learning, ie, that powerful learning occurs when it takes places directly in the situation the learning will/ should be applied. Thus the continued focus on work-based learning, learning by doing, informal learning, sitting next to Nellie, etc. And what applies to learning can and should apply to knowledge management as KM is more about context, understanding and application than tools and technology