How to turn knowledge management into a strategic function in the company

On May 24th, we organised a World Café Event together with the Swiss Knowledge Management Forum. The goal of these get-togethers is to share new trends in business. They have a simple formula: a short presentation of a new topic followed by a discussion in groups. The session was kindly hosted by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation in Zürich. Around 20 people from different organisations participated in the session.

What we presented

We explained how a scientific theory of innovation (General Theory of Innovation – GTI) can revolutionise the role of knowledge managers in organisations. As the main function of any business is to generate value by offering superior products and services, it is vital to collect and then to effectively manage the knowledge about customers. Therefore,  all departments could understand their role in helping customers and provide best possible support. GTI business methodologies are a perfect tool for those activities. They help to organise, store and present customer information in a friendly way.

Below you can see one of GTI tools (RelEvent Diagram) that we use for mapping how value is created – in this case, a simplified (for the sake of example) process of a customer driving a car with problems (i.e. accident/death) that prevent him/her from achieving goals. You can also see how the solutions (airbags) deliver value by solving these problems (preventing from injury/death).

 

We have also presented our new software called TeamStormer that we wrote about in the last issue of the newsletter. We will release it later this year. TeamStormer dramatically reduces a need for business meetings and thus it increases productivity and reduces cost.  It also provides a way to gather knowledge in your team, department or the entire firm.

The discussion

After a short break, we continued exploring above subject. We broke into three teams to discuss following topics:

  •  how to discover and consolidate knowledge about customers?
  •  knowledge sharing methods for remote teams
  •  what is more important: the problem or the innovative solution?

Summary

Discussions were very hot but we were in agreement that inability to understand customers needs is the main cause of failed innovations – participants provided many examples.  We also agreed that GTI is a good tool to improve innovation success rate. Apart of that, we have discussed how the role human creativity would change when Artificial Intelligence is invented.

The attendees provided a very positive feedback and I hope that once again we were able to share the new perspective that helps people to achieve better business results.

 

He is a Regional Manager and GTI Evangelist for DACH region. He lives in Regensdorf, Switzerland and is an experienced innovation implementation consultant. Pawel has a vast experience in knowledge management, business process improvement, quality improvement, process and data mining. He led knowledge management unit and worked as a project manager in global projects.

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