I received an email from a staff member at an existing client. She had taken on a change management role within this global brand and was reaching out to organise a telephone conversation. She wanted to get an overview of what exposure and work we done with the organisation in recent times so that she could determine where they, and we, were headed next.
I spent 30 minutes on the phone with her, taking her through what we had done, dating back many years and also offered to send over supporting documentation that we had on file that would be of assistance in piecing things together.
When I hung up the phone, I realised that the organisation had zero corporate memory regarding the work we’d been doing with them educating and building the knowledge of their staff with Microsoft Office products as well as helping to develop a framework of collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Whether this was as the result of poor record keeping, hard drive deletion when someone leaves or something else, the upshot was that regardless of the supporting information I’d provided, it represented unexpected costs to the client:
- The cost of time of new staff member to work out where things were so they could work out where to next.
- The cost of frustration and stress for a new staff member who aside from learning about the organisation is also left with nothing to help them in their new role.
- Delays in implementing solutions or action because of lack of information.
All which cost the organisation, not necessarily in dollars, but in speed to delivery. The sad part was all this could have easily been avoided if there was a centralised location for these documents (which wasn’t automatically deleted when a staff member left) and the knowledge was collaborative rather than siloed.
What do I mean by that?
In this circumstance I use collaborative as meaning multiple team members being across something rather than information being housed in one or two individuals’ minds (siloed). Thus, minimising the risk of lost corporate memory.
So my question to you is, what do you do in your organisation to ensure your “corporate memory” doesn’t walk out the door when someone leaves? If the answer is nothing, maybe today is the day to do something about it.
Need help formalising your team or organisation’s corporate memory? Find out how Donna can help, visit www.donnahanson.com