flevyblog

Flevy Blog is an online business magazine covering Business Strategies, Business Theories, & Business Stories.
MANAGEMENT & LEADERSHIP STRATEGY, MARKETING, SALES OPERATIONS & SUPPLY CHAIN ORGANIZATION & CHANGE IT/MIS Other

4 Forms of Organizational Forgetting

Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Corporate Learning Strategy (26-slide PowerPoint presentation). Although organizations invest heavily in Learning and Talent Development, most CEOs complain about the shortage of learned managers and leaders. Research reveals that a number of managers consider employee performance to remain the same if their organization's Learning function is totally [read more]

* * * *

Organizations have, in recent times, become more aware of the worth of regulating their Organizational Knowledge.  Extensive studies in academia have been conducted on the subject, because of its importance.

Organizations learn with time and experience.  The cause-and-effect relationship is gathered in the collective memory of the organization in the form of:

  • Shared mental models
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Rules and routines
  • Assets

This learning, in some cases, becomes a source of Competitive Advantage for the organization.

New learning, in organizations, is possible when redundant knowledge and bad habits are effectively erased from the organizational memory.  Managing Organizational Forgetting has to be part of Strategic Planning because of:

  1. Wasted resources—Knowledge forgotten, that should not have been, has to be re-acquired by diverting resources that could have been used elsewhere or for acquiring new knowledge.
  2. Opportunity cost—Required knowledge not available (because it was forgotten) at the time an opportunity arose.

Effective Organizational Forgetting should be an Organizational Culture so as to keep organizations on their toes and maybe preserve or gain Competitive Advantage.

Organizations that intend to manage their Organizational Forgetting effectively, need to comprehend 2 dimensions of Forgetting and the relationship between them:

Dimension 1:  Accidental Forgetting vs. Intentional Forgetting

The 1st element pertains to loss of valuable knowledge; the 2nd to increased competitiveness as a result of Forgetting.

Dimension 2: Entrenched Knowledge vs. New Knowledge

The 1st element relates to knowledge embedded in relatively durable objects like machines, databases, taken-for-granted routines; the 2nd to a transient setup like individual minds, association among small teams, makeshift organizational groups.

The process of Forgetting is altered depending on the interaction of the elements of the 2 dimensions.

Interaction of the above 2 dimensions results in 4 processes that constitute the Forms of Organizational Forgetting:

  1. Memory Decay
  2. Failure to Capture
  3. Unlearning
  4. Avoiding Bad Habits

The interaction of the 4 processes has been conveyed in the form of a matrix dubbed the Organizational Forgetting Matrix.  These processes explain an array of Organizational Forgetting that may occur.  Each of the 4 processes need distinct management approaches because each process is connected with a disparate set of challenges.

Let us delve a little deeper into some of the processes.

Memory Decay

Memory Decay occurs when concepts, practices, values are lost because of non-use or key personnel leaving the organization.  Organizations can forget elements long ingrained in their collective memory triggering costly and harmful consequences, like spending large sums to regain knowledge that was a source of Competitive Advantage.

Memory Decay is exacerbated in the process of downsizing.  Extremely valuable pieces of knowledge and skills can be lost if proper retention measures are not put in place.

Failure to Capture

Failure to capture new knowledge and disseminate it throughout the organization, results in loss when individuals bearing that knowledge leave.  Knowledge Articulation and Knowledge Institutionalization are 2 processes that can prevent such loss. 

Unlearning

Intentional Forgetting enhances organizational capability.  Intentional Forgetting can be achieved in 2 ways.  The 1st is strategic removal of knowledge.

Interested in learning more about Organizational Forgetting?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Organizational Forgetting here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

37-slide PowerPoint presentation
Organizational theorists differ in defining a Learning Organization. Some suggest it as an organization skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights. Others define organizations as Learning Organizations when they [read more]

Readers of This Article Are Interested in These Resources


26-slide PowerPoint presentation
A Learning Organization is an organization where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new ideas and thinking are nurtured, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together. In order to outshine rivals, organizations need to [read more]


 
30-slide PowerPoint presentation
 
 
27-slide PowerPoint presentation

About Mark Bridges

Mark Bridges is a Senior Director of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is your go-to resource for best practices in business management, covering management topics from Strategic Planning to Operational Excellence to Digital Transformation (view full list here). Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. Prior to Flevy, Mark worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co. and holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



Complimentary Business Training Guides


Many companies develop robust strategies, but struggle with operationalizing their strategies into implementable steps. This presentation from flevy introduces 12 powerful business frameworks spanning both Strategy Development and Strategy Execution. [Learn more]

  This 48-page whitepaper, authored by consultancy Envisioning, provides the frameworks, tools, and insights needed to manage serious Change—under the backdrop of the business lifecycle. These lifecycle stages are each marked by distinct attributes, challenges, and behaviors. [Learn more]

We've developed a very comprehensive collection of Strategy & Transformation PowerPoint templates for you to use in your own business presentations, spanning topics from Growth Strategy to Brand Development to Innovation to Customer Experience to Strategic Management. [Learn more]

  We have compiled a collection of 10 Lean Six Sigma templates (Excel) and Operational Excellence guides (PowerPoint) by a multitude of LSS experts. These tools cover topics including 8 Disciplines (8D), 5 Why's, 7 Wastes, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), and DMAIC. [Learn more]
Recent Articles by Corporate Function

  

  

  

  

  

The Flevy Business Blog (https://flevy.com/blog) is a leading source of information on business strategies, business theories, and business stories. Most of our articles are authored by management consultants and industry executives with over 20 years of experience.

Flevy (https://flevy.com) is the marketplace for business best practices, such as management frameworks, presentation templates, and financial models. Our best practice documents are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier consulting firms (like McKinsey, Bain, Accenture, BCG, and Deloitte) and used by Fortune 100 organizations. Learn more about Flevy here.
  


OUR CORE OFFERINGS
Flevy Marketplace: Top 100
· Strategy & Transformation
· Digital Transformation
· Operational Excellence
· Organization & Change
· Financial Models
· Consulting Frameworks
· PowerPoint Templates
FlevyPro (Subscription Service)
KPI Library
Streams (Functional Bundles)
Flevy Executive Learning (FEL)
PowerPoint Services

FREE Resources

About Flevy
Management Topics
Marcus (AI-Powered Consultant)
Partner Program
LinkedIn Influencer Marketing
FAQ / Terms / Privacy / Blog
Contact Us: support@flevy.com



CONNECT WITH US!
       
TOP 100 TRENDING TOPICS
Acquisition Strategy
Agile
Analytics
Artificial Intelligence
Balanced Scorecard
Best Practices
Big Data
Breakout Strategy
Business Continuity Planning
Business Plan Financial Model
Business Transformation
CMMI
COBIT
Change Management
Cloud
Communications Strategy
Company Financial Model
Competitive Advantage
Competitive Analysis
Consulting Frameworks
Continuous Improvement
Core Competencies
Corporate Culture
Cost Reduction Assessment
Customer Experience

BROWSE BY FUNCTION
Strategy, Transformation, & Innovation
Digital Transformation
Operational Excellence and LSS
Organization, Change, & HR
Management Consulting

Customer Journey
Customer Service
Cyber Security
Data Privacy
Decision Making
Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation Strategy
Due Diligence
ESG
Employee Engagement
Employee Training
Enterprise Architecture
Growth Strategy
HR Strategy
Hiring
Hoshin Kanri
ISO 27001
ITIL
Information Technology
Innovation Management
Integrated Financial Model
Kaizen
Kanban
Key Performance Indicators

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Business Strategy Frameworks
Case Studies
Consulting Training Guides
COVID-19 Trend Data
Digital Transformation
Financial Advising Services (FAS)

Knowledge Management
Leadership
Lean
Lean Manufacturing
Logistics
M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions)
Manufacturing
Market Research
Marketing Plan Development
Maturity Model
McKinsey PowerPoint
McKinsey Templates
Operational Excellence
Organizational Change
Organizational Design
Performance Management
Post-merger Integration
Pricing Strategy
Process Improvement
Process Maps
Procurement Strategy
Product Launch Strategy
Product Strategy
Project Management
Quality Management


Free Resources
KPI Library
Lean Management
Lean Six Sigma Training Guides
Marcus Insights
Operational Excellence

Real Estate
Remote Work
Restructuring
Risk Management
Robotic Process Automation
SWOT
SaaS
Sales
Scrum
Service Design
Six Sigma Project
Social Media Strategy
Strategic Planning
Strategic Thinking
Strategy Development
Supply Chain Analysis
Sustainability
Target Operating Model
Team Management
Total Productive Maintenance
Value Chain Analysis
Value Creation
Value Stream Mapping
Visual Workplace
Workplace Safety


Product Strategy
Small Business Owner
Startup Resources
Strategic Planning
Strategic Planning Process
Value Innovation Strategy


© 2012-2024 Copyright. Flevy LLC. All Rights Reserved.