Dementia in the Organization

10 January 2012
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Photo by dierk schaefer (Flickr)

A recent study has indicated that memory decline sets in as early as 45 years old. This has influenced me to commit to more exercises and healthy food to delay its on-coming. Like many other knowledge workers, our memory and thinking skills are essential to our meaning in life.

It will be interesting to examine how Dementia are taking place in the Organization

  1. When does the Organization starts losing memory?
  2. What are the implications of memory loss
  3. What are the possible means to minimize memory loss?

1. When does he starts losing memory

An organization does not need to wait for 45 years. It starts losing memory as soon as it is born. It takes place when

  • the employees forget about it
  • the employees leave the Organization
  • the computer is infected by viruses or crashed
  • the documents are shredded or the files deleted

2. What are the implications of memory loss

It will depends on the nature of the Organization. A knowledge-based organization will be more severely affected.

Some of the implications are

  • Loss of customers due to poor service level and not following up
  • Loss of productivity due to additional rework required
  • Loss of opportunities due to inability to build on existing knowledge

3. What are the possible means to minimize memory loss

While it is not totally possible to avoid memory loss, there are also ways akin to exercises and healthy food which the organization can use to minimize memory loss.

  • Promote staff retention
  • Embed important knowledge into the work processes (e.g checklists, templates) to prevent people from missing them out
  • Put in place a Knowledge Management Strategy to identify important knowledge and how to capture them
  • Encourage knowledge sharing & documentation
  • Make use of systems like CRMs to track customers information, blogs to track lessons learnt/case studies, discussion forums to track ideas and discussions
  • Perform backups regularly