The human brain is an amazing computer. It can store almost infinite quantities of data, it has near instant recollection to enable you to recognise people, places and perform the essential day to day actitives of breathing.
So why does it let us down in the middle of a crisis when you need to have that vital bit of information or when you remember seeing a tech note on the very problem you are fixing but can't recall the technical notes reference number.
The answer is simply to do with the way the human mind has evolved, Our technological prowess has evolved quicker than the brains ability to deal with this new landscape. When we, as a specics, were huddled in caves a crisis required the 'fight or flight' response and today when you have a crisis in the office that same reaction kicks in and all of a sudden you have trouble recalling technical details yet when the crisis passes you will be doing something else when the brain, still working on the problem in the background, will kick in.
The military actually have special training programmes to allow test pilots and others under extreme pressure to continue to think rationally. It is a very special SKILL.
so, why do we all have problems saying 'I don't know' and recording those oh so useful technical notes when we have the chance?
In the IS industry there seems to be a huge amount of pride in relying on ones memory to get people through a bad day. Checklists and procedures only seem to come into force for the day to day working practices - I have yet to see a company have an emergency procedures checklist.