Innovation is a priority, so why not KM?
A recent Boston Consulting Group report shows that 64% of companies consider innovation as one of their top 3 priorities. This is less than the 72% in 2006 but still high in the current difficult economy. That is good and understandable but then why is Knowledge Management not a priority as well as a result? You cannot foster innovation throughout a company wihout effective and efficient knowledge sharing processes.
Apple, Google and Toyota took the top 3 spots of the most innovative companies. Unsurprisingly, these 3 are regularly at the top of the global Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises (MAKE). In the 2008 ranking, they were in the 7th, 2nd and 4th place respectively.
In fact, 9 of the 20 global MAKE companies last year are among the BCG top 50 innovative companies including 5 of the top 6 !
These organisations have understood that innovation does not only sit in the R&D labs, it is to be fostered everywhere. Innovation implies effective collaboration between individuals, teams, deparments and companies, and effective collaboration implies in turn effective knowledge sharing between all these actors.
All these companies above invest heavily in knowledge management and would typically have managers with formal KM responsibilities. But then why is it that the companies with such formal and significant KM are still such a minority? What will it take for leaders to realise en masse the importance of KM?