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Connecting Organizational Silos: Taking Knowledge Flow Management to the Next Level with Social Media by Frank Leistner

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INNOVATION ENABLEMENT

Innovation is different from invention, as real innovation includes the application step. It is not enough to have a great idea or a new combination of ideas to produce value—successful application is the key step that is needed. Also true is that it is necessary to build a funnel of ideas that innovation can build on. It is a myth that inventors mostly sit in an isolated little room and come up with great ideas. Especially today, new ideas are based on collaboration and prior thinking, and emerge from smart combinations of old ideas to create new concepts that, in some cases, simplify on the way. Very often innovative strategies break a chain of thought by bringing ideas that might have worked in a completely different environment into a new situation to find ways to improve.

When discussing communities, I have heard people talk about the fact that some of the greatest innovations actually happen on the border of the communities. And I can relate to that point. Some of my best ideas have come from talking to someone in a completely different field who talked about concepts that I could transfer (to some degree) to a knowledge flow management issue.

This might happen when you get into some kind of meeting that brings diverse disciplines together, or it might happen when you sit at dinner with people from a range of backgrounds. But how can you instill this effect in an organization? Some organizations have created so-called think tanks, where they specifically ...

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