Legislators have it! Savvy business leaders have it!

Does your pharmacy organization have it?

“It” is institutional memory. It is the innate knowledge carried by an individual or group of individuals comprising what works and what doesn’t; why certain tactics and directions were chosen; who is reliably in support of your cause.

Wikipedia defines institutional memory as “a collective set of facts, concepts, experiences and know-how held by a group of people. As it transcends the individual, it requires the ongoing transmission of these memories between members of this group.” (my highlights)

How is memory transmitted? First, you have to have institutional memory in order to share it with others. Then, methods are put into practice to retain the knowledge.

The Harvard Business Review published an article “How to Preserve Institutional Knowledge .”  According to the author, preservation requires the intent (or explicit strategy), identification of key components (the explicit items comprising your institutional knowledge) and use of technology (or automation) so newcomers have easy access to the knowledge.

institutional-memoryThe importance of institutional memory in business is reflected in a business’s ability to maintain best practices through the years. The importance of institutional memory in pharmacy advocacy is similar. It’s the ability to maintain your best practices in promoting pharmacists for future advocacy success.

For example, knowing all the whats, hows, whys and wherefores of sunset legislation 10 years ago could help an association avoid drastic pitfalls in a current sunset review of their pharmacy practice law.

In Colorado, the legislative season is beginning. In fact, legislative activity will be heating up across the country after the national election. That makes it the perfect time to exploit the benefits of your local, state and national organizations’ institutional memory and knowledge.

Ask yourself who or what is best to tap for the information on how we succeeded recently? Find out where any automated records are kept that may assist your current endeavors. Broach questions of who, what, when, where, how and why with your professional leaders. Reason the best techniques to adopt for your current session and if there is a retention mechanism for your group’s institutional knowledge.

If you don’t help remember, who will? And then where will pharmacy be?

What is “it?” How to Use”it?”

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