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I was reading John Schneider's excellent post How Intranets Help Fight Corporate Amnesia and thought I should share my take on it.  I believe that in addition to the knowledge that needs to be retained to keep the business running, employees also need to feel that they belong to something bigger than themselves.


In my case, I joined IBM's Printer Division way back in the 1980s, after which it was spun off to become Lexmark in 1991.  There's a lot that's happened over those years, many things that old-timers like me with failing memories like to be reminded of from time to time and that newer employees enjoy discovering about the company.  Not to mention that along the way we've acquired over a dozen other companies, each with their own interesting history that everyone else in the organization would benefit from knowing about.


I was cleaning out my office cabinets a couple of years ago and found all this old stuff I'd been hanging onto, so I decided to share it by creating the Lexmark History Virtual Museum and inviting others to do the same:


Lexmark Museum.PNG



It's a place where people can share and create institutional memories through pictures, files, stories, and reminiscing conversations.  We now have about 50 items in our collection with more being added all the time and average around 50-200 visitors a month. 


What might you expect to see in the museum?  Maybe our first attempt at a Corporate Communications internal magazine.  Or that time President Clinton visited.  Or when Marketing decided to create custom Hot Wheels cars as promotional giveaways ...


Happenings.PNG    Clinton.PNG     Hot Wheels.PNG


... or even 30-year-old pictures of current employees:

old pic.PNG


The point is that fighting Corporate Amnesia isn't just about remembering how to get the job done, it's about remembering who you are as an organization and where you came from.  Creating a virtual museum for your company in Jive is a simple, easy way to capture that history and share it with future generations of employees.

Knowledge is more than power. In business, it is a key driver of competitive advantage. As important as corporate memory is, today it is more fleeting than ever. With older employees set to retire en masse and younger workers job-hopping like never before, it’s more critical than ever for organizations to find ways to stop the brain drain and preserve valuable institutional knowledge.


In my new article in CMSWire, I discuss the ways in which companies can use an interactive intranet to stop corporate amnesia in the face of unprecedented challenges including rampant employee turnover, a deluge of new data and the fragmentation of knowledge within globally dispersed and increasingly office-less organizations.


Not only does an interactive intranet make knowledge more visible, searchable and memorable, recent studies show it also make employees smarter! By enhancing workers’ meta knowledge (“who knows what” and “who knows whom”) and ambient awareness (the unconscious acquisition of knowledge gleaned from observing communications between other coworkers and teams), companies can become more flexible, adaptable and profitable.


To learn more about the traditional company intranet has morphed from a static homepage into a knowledge-sharing and retention WorkHub that replaces everything from the file cabinets and bulletin board to the telephones and water cooler in your office by making invisible work visible, check out How Intranets Help Fight Corporate Amnesia.



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