Knowledge management and innovation

What’s the relationship between knowledge management practices and innovation? On first thought, you would think that effective knowledge management would contribute to more effective innovation as well. On the other hand, knowledge management has often been justified on the value of not routinely reinventing solutions to problems that an organization has already solved. This potentially puts knowledge management and innovation at odds with one another.

The sticking point lies in the measurement and reward systems put in place to encourage active use of the knowledge management system. Absent careful thought about the various ways in which the contents of a knowledge management system feed into business processes, the risk is a measurement system that actively inhibits rather than promotes innovation.

One thought on “Knowledge management and innovation”

  1. Great observation Jim…at some point, I believe that two disciplines may emerge as some practitioners of KM preach the benefits of innovation, while others (and typically the application developers) suggest the capture and re-use of knowledge. There is the meeting point where capture and re-use of knowledge can help spawn innovation, but they are too often viewed separately. I look forward to your futher KM thoughts.

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