This blog post is centered around a conversation I had with Preston Simons, CIO of Abbott Laboratories during the National BDPA Technical Conference in August.
Our conversation was initiated from a question I posed to Mr. Simons concerning how Abbott was utilizing Knowledge Management (KM).
At the heart of his response he mentioned how Abbott researchers were using KM as a collaboration and sharing mechanism to foster innovation and leverage similar research across the organization. Over the past couple of months, the idea of leveraging KM within the research areas of organizations came up several times in conversations with marketing, product owners, and technical colleagues at other organizations.
The central theme here is that research areas are critical to new product creation and the speed to market for new products are essential to stay ahead of your competitors. KM plays a central role not only from the perspective of innovation by knowing what has been done and/or what is being done in other areas of research that can be utilized, but also from the collaboration and knowledge sharing among researchers contributing to the speed of new products to market.
To foster and support an environment of knowledge sharing and collaboration for researchers, KM offers a process of Connect — Collect — Catalogue — Reuse — Learn. This process is supported by several KM tools such as Communities of Practice (CoP), Wiki, white boarding and brainstorming tools, and knowledge maps, as well as knowledge Cafes. Instituting KM will uncover what you know, who knows it, and facilitates the diversity of thought you need for innovation and speed to market.
One questions remains … what is your organization doing to assist researchers in fostering innovation and to speed these products to market? If you are not leveraging what KM will do for you I bet your competitors will!