Institutional decision memories can describe how and why we, as an organization, chose one course of action over another.
Over time, these memories can be codified and institutionalized. This is Big Knowledge Management, leveraging the power of enterprise software platforms to store decision, process, and event memories. Process and event memories, like project outputs, are relatively easy to capture and codify. But decision memories are often hampered by our tendency to justify decisions after they have been made, and even create elaborate, and often fictional, stories around them. For this reason, it is important to capture decisions as they are being made, not after the fact.
We have to remember that all of this “knowledge management” is nothing without people engaged in the process. Viola Spolin, creator of the “Theater Games” actor training system, says that, “Information is a weak form of communication.” But, it can be improved, as Gary Schwartz notes, “Story becomes important in the ordering of all this information.” Stories are the glue, holding information together in some semblance of order, for our brains to process into knowledge.