Monday, 18 April 2016

BBC Analysis 'Corporate Amnesia'

The recent BBC Radio 4 'Analysis' programme 'Corporate Amnesia' is a great 30 minute listen, and not just for the lovely ironic clip from 'Yes Minister'.

The programme looks at how organisations can recognise and avoid knowledge and expertise loss, including an interesting case study HM Treasury. HMT suffered extensive turnover and were haemorrhaging know-how after the banking crisis. Working with Kings College London, they have implemented a programme of 2 way knowledge exchanges, including very senior civil servants and experts. How to facilitate knowledge exchanges between senior, experienced staff and newer staff with a fresh perspectives is explored. There is a great interview with workers in a textile factory in northern England and why they share know-how in the cutting room. Encouraging their staff to say 'I don't know' is a good example of fostering collaborative culture. We also learn to make a distinction between useful knowledge and ideology, opinion and vested interest. Margaret Heffernan, author of 'Willful Blindness' talks powerfully about the need to learning from mistakes and why it doesn't often happen, citing the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. Apparently the main contractor on the Macondo platform erected a stone memorial that is blank. No information, names or dates; almost a memorial to corporate amnesia.
BBC iPlayer (regional restrictions may apply):
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