APQC KM & Innovation 2007 – The Role of Knowledge Management in Innovation by Carla O’Dell

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After yesterday’s quick break, here I am back at sharing further insights on the APQC KM & Innovation event I attended last week in Houston. This time around though focusing on the actual two day event that took place as I didn’t get a chance to attend any other KM related training. And this is where things are going to get a whole bunch more interesting, and fun!, as I will just be putting together some further thoughts on what I really liked about each of the different sessions and, hopefully, at some point in time I may be able to share some of the different presentations, which at this point in time are being placed in a specific online space for us to download. We shall see how that goes.

Right, here it goes. The "Welcome to the conference!" speech was actually done by Jim Lee sharing with us a bunch of slides showing the history, over the course of 30 years, from APQC. Quite interesting and educational, if you would want to know some more about some of their major achievements. To finish off the introduction Jim shared one particular YouTube video clip  that I have also shared over here some time ago and which clearly shows how much things are changing in the current business world. Remember?

Then from there onwards we had the first keynote session with Carla O’Dell, Ph. D. President, APQC, around the subject of "The Role of Knowledge Management in Innovation". There are plenty of different things that I really liked about her pitch but perhaps the one that hit home the hardest was the fact that Knowledge Management and Innovation, for a number of years, were walking different paths, but apparently things are shifting rather rapidly in this respect over the last couple of years and nowadays they both walk hand in hand. Or, at least, that is the perception from a good bunch of KM advocates and innovators alike.

Here is an interesting quote from the slides:

"Innovation happens at the intersection of need, information, relationship, expertise and diversity"

I bet that particular quote will ring a bell to many of the folks who regularly read this weblog as that is exactly the kind of impact that social computing is bringing into the corporate world to help drive that particular innovation by allowing people to share their knowledge and collaborate a lot easier. Yes, indeed, I was happy to hear about that! You can tell.

One of the other things I enjoyed quite a bit was, apart from the clear distinction made between Invention and Innovation, how innovation, according to Carla, is all about connecting people to people to facilitate conversations to happen and, as a result, Knowledge Management is in a position to drive and change culture using (that) power of the network. How cool is that? What better validation of the power of social networks than to indicate that they are the key primary drivers from both KM and Innovation and how, as time goes by, they become fundamental to businesses in order to generate more revenue. About time, don’t you think?

Well, it gets better. Because with both KM and innovation walking hand in hand we are enabling the breaking of the silos amongst organisations and helping knowledge workers trust each other much more effectively and therefore allow every to share even more. And you know what? Communities are going to play a key role in this particular adoption of the social network within the corporate world. But that is something that I am going to leave for a follow up weblog entry as there have been a couple of other interesting points that I would want to share over here as well along those very same lines. So stay tuned!

Overall, a very good session, indeed, provided by Carla and with plenty of messages that have hit home very closely and which I was very happy to hear about after the three days of KM training I attended previously, as you have been able to see from previous blog posts. Good stuff! But not to worry, there is more to come …

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Worth while sharing it along?

2 Comments »

  • It is very important the concepts and words we use. Would like to see more of it.

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  • magia3e says:

    Luis!

    Would be very intersted to hear your thoughts on KM 2.0 given you’ve used it as a tag here to describe this conference.

    There are some people throwing the tag around and I’m concerned that they’re missing the point of what KM is about. Even Drucker’s description of KM and the knowledge worker holds true today, even if we’re using Web 2.0 tools.

    M

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