We know from research, that if we aren't aware of, what kind of knowledge we have at our disposal in a group, it is likely that the group only draws on a little fraction of the knowledge available - and that is not good, especially if the group have an ambition of becoming more innovative.
To avoid this from happening, Innoversity CPH has developed a simple four-step method, which we call Knowledge Domain Mapping. This method is used to map and visualize the many different knowledge domains in a group, and helps the group to combine their different knowledge domains in new ways.
STEP #1: IDENTIFICATION OF EXISTING KNOWLEDGE DOMAINS IN THE GROUP
Get together in groups of two, and interview each other, in order to find as many knowledge domains as possible, that you each have. Each group should have a black marker, post-it notes in different colours, and some A3-paper. The one who is interviewing, writes down one knowledge domain on a post-it, as the domains are found through the interview. In order to find the different domains, you could ask about each others educational and professional background, previous occupations, current occupation, interests etc. This step should take about 10-15 minutes.
STEP #2: CREATE AWARENESS OF OWN KNOWLEDGE DOMAINS
When you have created your individual knowledge domain profile, hang them on the wall, so everyone can see the knowledge available to the group. Afterwards, take a round through the whole group, where all presents - not him/herself, but the one they were interviewing. Make sure that you use phrases, such as “He/she knows a lot about” or “He/she has years of experience”. Expressed like this, it doesn't just become a recitation of a resume, but you describe a knowledge profile. Each presentation does not have to take more, than about a minute per person.
STEP #3 CREATE A COMMON KNOWLEDGE DOMAIN PROFILE OF THE WHOLE GROUP
To create a common profile, you have to draw three circles inside each other on a flip chart. Then you take each of the knowledge domains from the individual knowledge domains, you did in the previous step, and place then onto the common profile. First, you have to place the knowledge domains you all have in common, in the inner circle (just place one of the post-its that represents the same). In the middle circle, you place the knowledge domains, that some of you have in common, and in the outer circle you place the knowledge domains, that is unique for only one member of the group. This step of the exercise takes about 15 minutes, depending on the size of the group.
STEP #4: COMBINE YOUR KNOWLEDGE DOMAINS IN NEW AND DIFFERENT WAYS
It is known, that the knowledge domains in the middle circle, shared by the whole group, tend to dominate and are used the most. Now you have to explore what happens, when you combine all the other domains in new ways - you can try to combine three or more completely different domains from the outer circle. Or you can try to address a particular problem you have, from a new perspective, that one of the knowledge domains represents, and afterwards try to solve the problem with a method and experiences from another domain. The purpose of this step, is to continuously try to combine your knowledge in new ways.
As a method, Knowledge Domain Mapping is relatively simple to use, and we hope you want to experiment with this method. We would love to hear from you and the experiences you have, and if you have any comments and questions in relation to the Knowledge Domain Mapping.