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Using Knowledge Brokering to Improve Business Processes

Abstract: This article describes how global companies have adopted a new process called knowledge brokering in which executives are actively seeking out external ideas from people in a variety of industries and disciplines to improve their core business processes and develop better solutions to their organizational problems.

Based on a study reviewing the use of knowledge brokering by more than 50 teams at ten multinational companies, it was found that these teams were able to devise innovative solutions to assigned projects twice as quickly as possible by conventional techniques. It was also found that these teams adopted the following similar path to projects in areas such as strategic planning, sales and marketing, corporate social responsibility and HR.

1.      Analyze the problem space

2.      Evaluate brokering communities and choose experts

3.      Engage knowledge brokers to extract ideas

4.      Incorporate the new ideas into an implementation plan for a new process.

The article’s conclusion is that companies can develop breakthrough process innovation and better position themselves for a new networked world by efficiently using their knowledge sources and combining outside insights into their core internal business processes.

Published: McKinsey Quarterly, January 2010

Authors: Corey Billington and Rhoda Davidson

Link: Improve_Business_Processes

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