The dialect between innovation and Knowledge reuse

Innovation deals with development of new knowledge using creative methods.

Knowledge Management is somewhat wider: it deals both with new and existing knowledge, putting a major effort on reuse of existing knowledge, positioning it and making it more efficient.

 This is a meaningful dilemma: when should we choose innovation and when should we prefer Knowledge reuse or other more conservative methods of knowledge development based on the existing knowledge?

The default should be Knowledge reuse and conservative development, as these are cheaper processes that require few resources since they are based on existing material.

When should we nevertheless prefer innovation?

  1. A crisis can serve as a chance to change. When faced with no choices at all, it is best to change a direction and perform new moves.
  2. When competition act differently and are showing interest in a new solution/direction. Organizations should then not remain content with their current success in order to avoid being "left behind" and lose customers.
  3. When new technology is developed- this is a chance to review whether it is worthwhile to perform things differently. For example, can using Web 2.0 applications generate quality/better solutions featuring other functions than those currently available?
  4. When it's been a while since your "last change" and you realize you can't rely on your current tools and methods. This is a case in which the product/service's market share is still high, yet its growth rate is low, a situation that calls for innovation in order to gain competitive edge and reach a state in which we can affect market needs instead of being solely affected by them. This is the difference between a promoting organization and a reacting organization.

In conclusion, even when a client suggests a new idea, or a worker brings up a new initiative, we should consider the offer; it might be an opportunity we would hate to pass on in the future. Who knows, we just might be the pioneers of an innovative idea.

 
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