Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Missing Histories

Jack retires. Mary goes back to school. Carlos gets a promotion with a firm several states away.

And before you know it, no one on the job can remember how a particular matter was handled seven years ago.

This is not uncommon and yet the idea of preserving the history of various decisions is regarded as odd. In some instances, fear may play a role. People may get nervous at the slightest chance that a detailed history of How We Made Decision X will some day be referred to by lawyers as Exhibit A.

If it's a macro-decision, let the company attorney request and keep all of the history.

But most of the problems I see are not macro in nature. They deserve a one or two page summary of why a policy or a decision reached.

Remember, science waits to be discovered. History, on the other hand, can be lost.

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