Institutional memory is an approach for developing the comprehensive “story” of an organization. The approach emphasizes the connections between significant events, decisions, milestones, projects, and other key actions and how they relate to, or support, broad strategic and organizational themes.
Often, institutional memory outputs use compelling visualizations and rich, story-based content about the significant events to help the audience understand how and why things happened and the specific insights and information gained at each event and milestone in the organization’s evolution. Timeline-based visualizations illustrating the relationships between projects and events can add further context, increasing the audience’s understanding of how their organization’s overall thinking and direction has progressed.
New multimedia tools have made this type of rich knowledge collection quicker and easier, creating output that is highly memorable and very effective for knowledge sharing. Through short audio and video clips, employees can gain a much greater understanding and appreciation of how the organization’s ideas and intellectual capital developed, why some paths were taken and not others, and how key elements of the organization’s thinking and approach emerged over time.
Iknow believes that institutional memory has very broad applicability in knowledge-intensive organizations—especially those that are innovative, working in rapidly changing and dynamic markets, driven by new products, or are project-based. We help organizations develop the vision, strategy, content, and approach to memorializing their institutional memory. We also can facilitate or drive institutional memory initiatives, including content development and multimedia production.
Iknow’s deliverables include the strategy and executional support of all aspects of an institutional memory program. The deliverables can range from the development of the integrated story and associated content to the production of this content in a variety of multimedia formats.
Institutional memory programs can greatly enhance the engagement of staff by providing them with a stronger connection to the organization, its thinking, and its progress. Institutional memory programs also enhance organizational and cultural alignment over the long term.