Date: May 26, 2009

Author: JT

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Challenge Institutional Knowledge

For the newcomer to an organization, institutional knowledge (aka ‘fact’) is almost immediately recognized. As you meet with people, you are frequently exposed to ‘facts.’ Institutional knowledge, or ‘memory,’ is formed of those tidbits of foundational knowledge on which decisions are based, often pre-dating the individual(s) providing them.

Institutional knowledge is something that, the older it gets, is increasingly subject to becoming a factoid. A ‘factoid,’ in an original definition was simply considered a snippet of a fact. Over time, the definition has evolved to be, “something which becomes accepted as fact, although it may not be true.” (Oxford English Dictionary)