Believe it or not, way back in February of 1993, the writer/director, Harold Ramis, created one of Hollywood’s most enduring comedies about poor knowledge management. Starring Bill Murray, Chris Elliot, and Stephen (you’d recognize him if you saw him) Tobolowsky, the movie tells the age-old tale of a man whose inability to easily access stored knowledge causes nearly irreparable harm to his job performance.
Certainly, Mr. Ramis wasn’t breaking any new ground with the genre — “bad knowledge management” is a classic Hollywood comedy trope. Regardless, the serious point of his film couldn’t have been any clearer: “Knowledge management is critical to competing in today’s business environment.” That may have even been the tagline on the film poster.
Yet if you ask most people what the movie “Groundhog Day” is about, they’ll say it’s about a bitter weatherman forced to report on a weather-forecasting groundhog in a nearby small town for the fourth time. Trapped in the town by bad weather, he wakes the next day to find it is still Groundhog Day and that he’s doomed to relive the same day over and over again.
Is the latter synopsis more accurate? Maybe, but it misses the film’s subtle symbolism and subtext. Now, I’m no film critic, but it seems obvious to me that by portraying Bill Murray’s character repeatedly reliving his day, the director was trying to represent an all too common dilemma that faces corporate employees who don’t have a cohesive system for retaining company knowledge.
Wait, didn’t we solve that problem already?
When people leave a company, for whatever reason, both knowledge and experience go with them. Without a fool-proof way to extract, store and save information in an easily accessible system, employees must — like Bill Murray — re-live the problems caused by ineffective knowledge management, re-learn the issues, and re-solve problems that had already been solved. All at the company’s expense.
It’s an endlessly frustrating situation that many employees have to deal with every day, not just on February 2nd. The film’s director was powerfully expressing that universal feeling of angst resulting from pointless repetition (only using a more palatable storyline that the movie studios would buy).
As the movie progresses, Bill’s character learns new skills, but because everything in town resets each morning, no one else benefits. Only once he gets the girl and time returns to normal does his experience and knowledge get retained and become shareable.
Avoiding the “Groundhog Day” effect.
Had Mr. Ramis known about tibbr, the leading Enterprise Social Networking platform back in 1993, he might have ended the movie differently. Because tibbr has multiple ways to prevent the loss of valuable information and make it accessible to everyone.
tibbr makes company knowledge more usable by:
- Centralizing knowledge so employees can easily find it in one place
- Putting content in context, i.e., related people, conversations, and data
- Breaking down knowledge silos, even geographic location
- Securing shared information for client confidentiality
At its core, tibbr is a KM framework that retains business content and conversations — as well as its context — so that employees can find the information they need and only have to solve problems once. Even better, tibbr does it all automatically, collecting and organizing knowledge over the course of everyday interactions.
Backup your company’s best brains.
With tibbr, a leading Enterprise Social Networking platform, you can preserve all of your company’s information, content, and context for future employees. You can help employees focus on doing their job while preventing valuable company knowledge and experience from going out the door every time an employee does.