In my book Learning for all senses (only available in Swedish at the moment) one chapter is about components and functions that an effective knowledge management system consists of after today’s prerequisites and possibilities. In this chapter the central importance of knowledge management is put forward since it in practice ought to work as the organisations engine where the fuel consist of continuing input of knowledge, both internally generated and from external sources. And how this input then can be processed and distributed in order to make the employees in the best possible way to be able to discover opportunities and avoid threats. Because put in practice the organisation stands between focusing on investing in a Knowledge Management System or a Crisis Management System. Since when Factor X strikes the organisation either is prepared with the right knowledge or otherwise a crisis is waiting around the corner.
Four foundational components
The foundation of the knowledge management system that is described in the book is characterised by openness and diversity for distribution, learning and development on the platform. Because all relevant knowledge should be available for everybody in the whole organisation in order to increase the engagement for organisation’s operations in general and contribute to its development in particular. The knowledge management system consists basically of four foundational components.
1. Intelligence editorial unit with an operational “storyteller”
2. Content development with internal and external experts
3. Course- and eLearning-portal for learning
4. Support for component 1-3
Besides distribute knowledge that is adapted to organisation’s prerequisites and create engagement the platform should contribute to one more effect. To find its origin we have to travel back in history, all the way back to the Renaissance in Italy.
The Medici-effect has its origins from the strength in openness and diversity. In my book Lärande för alla sinnen this phenomenon is described in the following way:
“Frans Johansson, consultant and author, has tracked this phenomenon back to 15th Century in Florence in his book the Medici-effect. It originates from the explosion of creativity that leads to the Renaissance. Artists, Scientists, Poets, Entrepreneurs, Philosophers and Architects were brought together and created revolutionising dynamics with economical support from the Medici-family. Never before so many epoch-making discoveries had been made. Never before so many ground-breaking ideas had been transformed to innovatory inventions.”
Creativity and innovations with this description in mind have its growing-ground in intersections between at first glance incompatible phenomenons. Today’s clusters between companies and universities and public administration e.g. can be seen as a direct result of the Medici-effect. However, these clusters all too often have major deficits on two critical points. The control of the creative-process is too hard and the selection of the participants with the same competence is too common. This produce a profound problem since it is in the intersections between different areas of knowledge and competence as well as different geographical and cultural perspectives where often pioneering innovations and other innovatory development is hidden.