Creating a corporate memory is about telling stories

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I really believe conversations are key to capturing tacit knowledge, best practices,  all those things that are parts of the individual’s patrimony and can only be captured an harnessed by stimulating individual memories through conversations, since they are the most accessible form of knowledge.

Hence the necessity to provide the organization with tools that make those open discussions and their stimulation possible, just as their capitalization.

Most often, when I talk about conversations it’s about best practices, knowledge transfer, everything that can suport the business function and I think there’s nothing more to say on this point, but this note from Scott Monty made me think of another dimension that would really fit with the idea of “corporate memories”, going beyond pure business to adress corporate culture purposes.

The idea  behind the Linkory platform is simple : connecting people through their memories to create a kind of common History.

Corporate culture has its role to play in global performance. It’s partly made of “stories”, “myth” that foster a shared identity, explain the present.

When someone joins a company, it’s essential he knows, undesterstands those codes that relies on those “stories”. It’s often the role of the ancients who explain what happended in such or such occasion, how a manager did something outstanding, how a team succeeded, how one’s personality and behaviors influenced the company’s identity….in short everything that make understand what the company is today, its implicit rules, what can be done, what can’t…and why.

So, capitalizing all those stories as a real value. A business value but also an human value which impact on the business in not trivial. It favors knowledge transfer but also facilitates culture and values sharing.

Whatever, there’s something essentiel : we don’t talk about “rough” knowledge but about stories highly linked to people, to context, to experience. Sometimes it’s about thing we don’t know how important they could be for others and we only remind of through a discussion. Those are stories that begin with “I remember…”.

Sometimes I hear “we don’t pay people for discussing or animate discussions”. What a pity. We a whole generation will retire we’ll be able to put a figure to non-conversations.

Some are already experiencing it : for example the NASA that is realizing that sending people on the moon is not so easy…because all lot of knowledge has left the company since the 70s and wasn’t transfered to to new joiners.