All organizations have a history and the stories that make the history are priceless – especially as new people join the firm. The culture that an organization has, also has to do with its history. Just like the collective memory of humankind is the collective history that we pass on, the collective memory of colleagues is what gets passed on to the next new employee.
Most organizations don’t learn from history and repeat the same mistakes over and over again, there are memory lapses and then there is creative memory that remembers things as one wants rather than as things were !! I don’t know if any firm uses a historian to chronicle it’s history.. The stories, anecdotes, things that happened, the hiring mistakes and superstars, so fascinating.
Today at work as we were trying to solve a problem, two of the old timers told us a story from a decade ago and it was so interesting to see how far we have come and also how, in many ways we have remained the same.
Stories are always fascinating and good leaders have a stash of good stories … And I would like to think, good organizations also have a stash of good stories. Create the induction program for your firm with stories, and you can easily help the new colleague imbibe the culture. Stories help take the message across – far better than a series of slides on policies. Think of Karna not being allowed to participate in the Mahabharata war being presented as an HR policy on “discrimination” – what will you remember ? The story of Karna or the wordings in the policy ?