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Fostering Ideas and Innovation: Take a process-based approach to knowledge management

Writing on the fostering of ideas in Quality Digest, Arun Hariharan, author of Continuous Permanent Improvement and The Strategic Knowledge Management Handbook, advises that:

The ideas developed by your employees, partners, and distributors can be an important source of knowledge that, in many cases, proves quite relevant to your business.

Hariharan discusses what he calls a five-year “experiment” with a large group of companies, in which nearly 25,000 ideas were generated. Around 15% of the ideas were implemented, and about 30% of the implemented ideas brought direct financial benefits, contributing $550 million in revenue and another $120 million in cost savings across the group of companies. He shares insights into how these companies generated so many ideas, and how the inflow of ideas was sustained.

Bruce Boyes

Bruce Boyes ( is editor, lead writer, and a director of the award-winning RealKM Magazine ( and currently also teaches in the University of NSW (UNSW) Foundation Studies program in China. He has expertise and experience in a wide range of areas including knowledge management (KM), environmental management, program and project management, writing and editing, stakeholder engagement, communications, and research. Bruce holds a Master of Environmental Management with Distinction and a Certificate of Technology (Electronics). With a demonstrated ability to identify and implement innovative solutions to social and ecological complexity, Bruce's many career highlights include establishing RealKM Magazine as an award-winning resource for knowledge managers, using agile and knowledge management approaches to oversee the implementation of an award-winning $77.4 million river recovery program in western Sydney on time and under budget, leading a knowledge strategy process for Australia's 56 natural resource management (NRM) regional organisations, pioneering collaborative learning and governance approaches to support communities to sustainably manage landscapes and catchments, and initiating and teaching two new knowledge management subjects at Shanxi University in China.

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