January 2007 Archives

No Satisfaction at Toyota

FastCompany.com has a great article on the process of innovation at Toyota.  At Toyota, the process of making automobiles is the paramount concern and thus they are able to outperform all other car manufacturers

Defining Web 2.0

There is a lot of confusion about the term "web 2.0", so when I found these definitions on Dennis McDonald's blog, All Kind of Food, I was eager to republish it.

 

The term "web 2.0" describes two dimensions of web based publishing:

1. Web 2.0 as Technology Infrastructure 

When used this way, Web 2.0 refers to the ways hardware and software can be used to deliver sophisticated interactive processes over the World Wide Web to anyone with an Internet connection and a standard web browser. 

Other hallmarks of Web 2.0 technology are (1) the rapidity with which sophisticated applications can be developed, (2) the ease with which data from different systems can be combined, and the (3) independence from specific types of computers or operating systems.

2. Web 2.0 as Communication and Business Process
When used this way, Web 2.0 refers to the ways people can use the web to easily publish information online, share that information with others, and develop relationships with people who share common interests. Frequently these behaviors are individualistic, spontaneous, and highly decentralized.

It is not unusual for more traditional or hierarchically structured organizations to approach Web 2.0 applications with some caution given the lack of centralized control. It is also believed that the more people who participate in Web 2.0 exchanges of information, the more powerful "network effects" become.

 Being a knowledge management practitioner, this article is good news and largely correct. However, beyond a more compeling tool set, a large dose of change management is required to get people to adopt KM tools and processes.  Most importantly, contribution and use of knowledge needs to be embedded in the work processes.  Technology makes it easier to enable this, but it requires a thorough understanding of business processes, how people work, and how knowledge reuse will make their work more efficient or create a more valuable work product.  Wikis, blogs, data warehouses, repositories alone will not ensure that KM acheives full value .

 

Link to Creativity And Innovation Driving Business: Co-Creation driving Innovation

Sanjay Dalal makes a compelling case for involving customers in new product and service innovation.  The internet allows companies a much richer medium to conduct conversations with customers and now find ways to tap into their customer's imagination through conversation.

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