Knowledge and Innovation

Back in February I spoke at a London Knowledge Network event which ran in parallel with the British Women Inventors and Innovators Conference at the University of Greenwich. My presentation focussed on the links between effective information, knowledge and learning processes, and innovation. Innovation is currently high on many organisation’s ‘to do’ lists but of course it’s actually very difficult to be innovative. Innovation needs a special set of conditions to thrive and those conditions rarely exist in many of our industrial age organisations. A knowledge focussed approach can however be enormously useful in supporting innovation and I believe that some of the KM techniques can be particularly useful when used specifically to foster innovation. And they are certainly more useful than sending people on creativity workshops.

In addition to the conference there was also an exhibition of  new innovations by British women. One that particularly stood out was a new ergonomic approach to cookware – Celia Gates’ sensual curvy handles have been attracting lots of coverage recently. She spoke before me at the LKN event and it was great to hear how she overcame much resistance to bring her idea to fruition. A theme that surfaced more than one during the day was that men make great inventors while women are better innovators.  I guess it depends on how you define invention and innovation?

ExLink: Handl Cookware

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