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Tom Soderstrom (NASA-JPL), Christina Ramstein (Disney), Andrew S. Gordon, (USC).

A great discussion about innovation and creativity. Interesting discussion on where the knowledge management function is situated. In the United States, the KM function is often connected to the IT function. This is less the case in Europe or Asia, where it is more a part of strategy, management, etc.. Innovation can be easier (and less expensive) to implement than many people think. Much of it is idea sharing and recognition. People love to share their ideas and be recognized as having contributed to something. Create an environment where new ideas are welcome and encouraged and where ideas can be recognized among peers (note: $$ not necessarily required) and potentially flourish (e.g. connect a person with someone that can implement the idea). Imagineers are engineers, their job is to be creative, but that does not prevent someone in management (or security, or the Churro vendor) from having an idea and sharing it.

JPL uses the Disney quote, "If you can imagine it, you can build it" to drive innovation.  Find out what people's passions are and encourage them. Many of them will do it for free on their own time. This is not about taking advantage of people, it's about encouraging and equipping them. Everyone is very creative, not everyone is encouraged to share. That's a missed opportunity for innovation.

(Photo Credit: Allan Crawford)

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