Short time. Great inspirations.


Three new technologies to make the most of human capital

  • How do you tap into employees’ creativity and quickly turn innovative ideas into product development projects?
  • How do you save and share the kind of tacit knowledge which can’t be explained, only shown?
  • How do you collect employees’ experiences in the form of ready to use cases and apply them to actual problem solving situations?

A1_Houston_Office_Oil_Traders_on_MondayLast week I was invited to an event that promised to answer these three questions, by introducing participants to the latest technological innovations that might be ways of solving these commonly met dilemmas.

I have to admit that I have never been a tech guy. And I have always been a bit suspicious when it comes to technology in the HR field. When we try to replace human relationships with technology, I think we are on the wrong track.

However, the presentations showed that technology in HR can work the other way round: it can actually be the facilitator of more sharing and more open discussion, and help create more inspiration between colleagues.

I am happy to share what I learned about these three very interesting technological solutions.



If you are fed up with those brainstorming sessions after which you end up with a long list of not-so-interesting ideas that are never going to be implemented or even revisited, you will appreciate the Be-novative tool.

This platform helps teams – even if members are spread across the world – to generate a large number of truly creative solutions for a given problem. But the process doesn’t stop there. After the creative phase, the system helps the team evaluate the ideas according to feasibility and impact. Within an hour you end up with a comprehensive report in which the innovative solutions to the challenge are all evaluated and ranked, ready for the decision maker to initiate a development project.

What did I find interesting about the tool:

  • The platform allows virtual teams to brainstorm together, and so it creates a great sense of intercultural cooperation.
  • It doesn’t seem like a chore, more like a big game where small teams can have an idea competition (where both the quality and quantity of ideas matters). This gamification element can be a great motivator towards active participation.
  • The tool is pretty intuitive and simple to use. Even I could work out what to do!
  • It is more than simple crowdsourcing tool. The platform doesn’t only support the creative “divergent” phase but also the analytical “convergent” phase that should come afterwards: ideas get evaluated by team members.
  • It provides a high-quality summary for decision makers.

I have just tried the demo that I found on the Be-novative company webpage.  It was fun. I am definitely going to try it in real life too.



Let’s take the case of a factory somewhere in Eastern Europe, where a three-year-old Japanese production machine breaks down. The halt is costing the company thousands of euros per hour, so somebody had better fix the problem quickly. But who? The Japanese experts are far away. Three years ago, when they installed the machine, they showed the local technical experts how to do handle the problem, but of course nobody remembers it anymore. Some of the colleagues who attended the course three years ago are not even with the company anymore. So the knowledge is not available exactly when they need it the most.

How is it possible to keep this kind of knowledge fresh, even if we don’t need it for three years? Here we are talking about the kind of information that can be shown easily but can’t really be written down in a manual. How can we capture this knowledge so that it is accessible right when and where we need it?

The E-Teacher tool aims to provide a solution by offering an e-learning platform where the necessary knowledge is kept in the form of videos (combined with audio and written text).

What did I find interesting about the tool:

  • Learning by watching the movements and simultaneously listening to the detailed explanation makes the learning experience very close to the real life expert–apprentice relationship.
  • The Y generation prefers videos to written textbooks. This tool caters for their needs by replacing manuals with videos.
  • In each tutorial, written text is also provided, which makes searches very easy.
  • The E-Teacher is not only a collection of videos but a comprehensive e-learning system. It keeps track of who studied which tutorial, it allows people to take exams based on the tutorials, etc. This makes it easy for managers and HR to have an overall picture about how up-to-date people are in certain areas, and to identify who has the most readily applicable knowledge for a given task.

In the presentation we saw some very interesting demo tutorials too. Unfortunately, however, I couldn’t find a good demo material on the webpage.


Analogy Dialogue

One important thing that differentiates an experienced professional from a beginner is the large number of relevant stories in their head. So when the next challenge arises, an experienced professional can tap into his large collection of cases and find an analogous one that helps solve the problem at hand.

Analogy Dialogue is a system that accumulates the experiences of whole communities in the form of well-structured cases. If you face a challenge you haven’t met before and you haven’t got your own story to fit the problem, you can log into the system and search the hundreds of cases your colleagues have already experienced. The platform makes it very easily to find the one that fits your challenge the best.

What did I find interesting about the tool:

  • On this platform, knowledge is stored in the form of cases – a great way to capture a company’s collective experience. The “story approach” makes knowledge very practical and easily adaptable.
  • The system comes with a semantic search motor. This means that you don’t have to worry too much about finding just the “right” key word. For example, if you write “boss” as a key word, “manager” will also be identified as a relevant hit.
  • The AD platform is especially useful in some classic case-based areas such as customer service.
  • The system includes some social functions such as “like”, “share” and “recommend”, making it much more interactive. The social quality of the system increases the motivation of individuals to upload more cases.

I managed to find an informative video that shows how it really works.



Be-novative, E-Teacher and Analogy Dialogue are three technological innovations that are interesting in their own right. However, what is more fascinating is to see how the three complement each other, covering three slightly different and yet related areas of knowledge and innovation management. It was a great idea to introduce them together. I’d like to thank the organisers for the opportunity to be there.