The goal of knowledge management is to capture, organize and share knowledge wherever it resides in the organization. Leveraging the corporate collective know-how will improve decision making and innovation where it is needed. Organizations do not make decisions just based on one factor; the total picture is what should drive decisions. The emerging challenge for organizations is to derive meaningful insights from the experiences of all members of the team and re-apply it intelligently. When you embark on your journey of knowledge and wisdom it will only be enriched if you surround yourself with diverse ideas. You may find some of these ideas different from your own, aligned with yours or on the fringe of your own. We must all take the time to understand what all of these diverse thoughts bring to the decision making process.
In my career as a consultant and advisor I have had the opportunity to work with people in many different organizations across several industries. These industries include insurance, legal, retail, financial, banking, logistics, research, education, and healthcare. During my 30+ year career in information technology (IT) I have gain valuable knowledge about how and why different organizations are structured, managed, conduct business, develop processes, deliver their products and/or services to their clients/customers and how to implement and deliver software applications to support these organizations. I have managed to embody a collection of diverse ideas and cross-industry knowledge in which I can apply to solve many problems.
All of my experiences gained working with organizations across these different industries have enabled me to bring a depth, breath, and wealth of knowledge to the organizations I consult and advise. In many cases I have been able to identify solutions from one industry and adopt them in a different industry. I know that my colleagues who have obtained many years of experience working with companies across different industries also bring this knowledge to the decision making process. This is the core reason why companies hire consultants and advisors to take advantage of this rich knowledge to advance their products/services, accelerate innovation and solve complex problems.
Through collaboration, knowledge sharing, and knowledge reuse it is important to leverage different points of view, different experiences, and different cultural backgrounds to stimulate problem solving and innovation. Writing some time ago about diversity of thought as I believe it has relevance here writing about cross-industry knowledge, a reader from Japan wrote:
“Very interesting point! As a Japanese, we don’t view diversity in terms of race and/or religion. Depending upon the generation it does mean gender, mainly with the older generation of business leaders. Outside of the older generation, in terms of diversity, philosophy of ideas and education/social backgrounds is what we consider diversity. How we view diversity gives us the Japanese and other Asian countries an advantage or the rest of the world markets. It is the leveraging our diversity that our knowledge is gleaned, and innovation is achieved. One area of weakness that Asian cultures suffer from is the diversity of race, since in our countries are not the “melting pot” as you Americans often call yourselves.” — M. Genda
As M. Genda points out “It is the leveraging our diversity that our knowledge is gleaned, and innovation is achieved”. Bringing individuals with cross-industry knowledge will accelerate problem solving and innovation in all aspects of your organization including but not limited to, business management, operations, technology, and product/service delivery. So, as we enter into 2022 and your organization wants to accelerate innovation, and solve complex problems consider talking to and utilizing an individual and/or organization that brings not only expertise about your industry and discipline to the table, but also brings cross-industry expertise!