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Creative KM - The 'Toolsets, Mindsets and Skillsets' to Innovate

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Creative KM - The 'Toolsets, Mindsets and Skillsets' to Innovate

Apr 28, 2022   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger Michael Sequeira

There is no innovation without creative ideas, would you agree? I am sure all of us agree that we have built creative designs in our childhood and learnt from others teaming to create art forms that were unique, just like us. Growing up we found creativity in fun things, and we enjoyed interacting with likeminded beings based on our human-centric abilities, which ensured we were motivated. On the contrary, our behaviors were also conditioned to rule-based practices which society 'norming' instituted. So, we lost creativity to innovate or did we not?

Today, the question more relevant to innovation is 'how does
one develop creativity?' We can improve our creativity through coming together and engaging in stimulating creative abilities. This leads to innovation as we train ourselves to have common beliefs and come together in the creation of new relationships, that seemed unconnected before, and now create knowledge components. So, can knowledge management foster innovation?

Today, there are many experts who relate Creative KM to Technology, and this has resulted in practices such as Gamification, that is related to incentivizing users to contribute their critical knowledge in return for reward and recognition. This in-turn has ensures a culture setting where teams come forward to contribute their critical knowledge. Then where is the problem?  We need to ensure there is a sustainable advantage in the long-term merits and combining it with people practices. Let us explore what some of them are...

In the above graphic are few proven methods

  • KM Cricket is a teaming concept where project-based teams working for a client come together and practice bi-weekly a fun-based activity that encourages sharing knowledge that is common to both but practiced differently. It is a simple Q&A session where there are two teams, and each gets to ask the other frequent questions around a technology, product, or customer that associates both teams to learn from each other. This culture building technique establishes trust and makes it a 'win-win' to move from internal awareness to building a learning capacity.
  • A KM Cafe is a wonderful way to move towards building relationships and ensure we build people's motivation to come together to learn from each other, share their experiences, and finally relate to each other. The outcome of the exercise is to synthesize informal learnings helping the individual advance from their own trust-based corner to coming together in creative workspaces to co-innovate.
  • KM Folklore stories are leaders speaking about their own journeys and sharing their motivations, fears, behaviors, and a lot more that helped them advance. It helps the audience to be encouraged and most of the times through these 'folklore stories' makes leaders more approachable to ensure better teaming.
  • Mind Maps are a wonderful way to get teams together and help them ideate around key organization themes such as achieving business excellence, building customer loyalty, improving revenue and many other organizational tenets. It can also be linked with tools that teams are using like 'idea portals', 'sprint boards' and other agile practices to ensure an innovation journey as individual teams.
  • Chat Bots are AI based engines that users find more personalized. If one can link this to Communities of Practice and ensure there are experts who are also documenting the questions that the user's rate as Satisfactory or below, then this knowledge base becomes a rich source of innovation.

If we focus on the teaming aspect at a project and organizational level we can encourage culture building. There is a still the individual need of motivating users to align to the Innovation Strategy and ensure their intrinsic need is met, and this is where we need to create 'the reading library of km' - a space for users to have access to exploring project briefs, lessons learnt, best practices and most important, access to work alongside experts to hone their skills.

In-Summary: Innovation starts with Creative KM as it helps innovators come together and develop organization culture. However, it is important we recognize that it begins with not just the right 'Toolsets' but has to be combined with the right 'Mindsets' for individuals to come together as teams in sense-making to learn and co-innovate. Finally, we need to elevate the right 'Skillsets' and ensure users feel motivates, have fun and practice Creative KM that help in achieving the organization Innovation Strategy. 

Disclaimer: These are purely my own views and experiences as a KM partitioner in driving 'Creative KM' practices to align with 'Innovation Strategy' through design thinking.

About the Author: Michael Sequeira is an independent consultant who is passionate about helping organizations discover how KM can be a key differentiator for their business, teams, and clients. If you would like to learn more about his background and get-in-touch you can connect with him on LinkedIn

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