To support the hoards of shoppers that flock to the Mall of America, the complex also includes 20,000 parking spaces on-site. Many people have trouble remembering where they parked their car at the grocery store or Target, so imagine the confusion that could ensue at a place this large.

Nothing is worse than walking out, tired from a long day, with arms full of bags, only to wander around looking for your car. The Mall attempts to prevent this by implementing multiple memory aids in their parking systems. Each floor is labeled with the name of a state and an accompanying picture to represent that area (eg: a cowboy boot for Texas). Each floor of the elevator is painted a different color. The elevator has an audio that says which floor on which you are entering. There are signs everywhere encouraging people to “remember where you parked.”

Other large enterprises deploy similar systems. At O’Hare Airport, each floor of the parking garage is named for a Chicago sports team. Everything from the elevator buttons to the front of the elevator is painted with the logo of the teams to aid in recall.

Think about what your organization requires people to remember. Are there creative ways to stimulate memory rather than just numbering something? Can you utilize color to assist as a visual reminder? How can you add in audio cues to aid in the process?

You could provide great car-finding assistance on the back end, but it is much more effective to prevent lost shoppers in the first place. Help your version of shoppers find their way home with ease through memory-enhancing tools for the easiest-to-forget aspects of your organization.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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