Guard the Past, Build the Future
- April 17, 2019
- Posted by: Yiannis Zarkadis
- Category: Authenticity, Change Management, Legacy
During a period of bold change, we can see some people to isolate and lock themselves in the past. They refuse to change. They stay fixed. They prefer the familiar, what they know, the one with which they feel comfortable. But this is wrong. We have to follow the wave, embrace change, the challenge and get better.
But we can also see others, especially nowadays, who in the name of speedy change they move naively fast. In their effort to serve blindly transformation, they ignore the past. They skip knowledge and ignore key learnings, sometimes with disrespect and without care for history and legacy. This is wrong too.
Practical examples, …
- “We don’t care about your past attainments, we are mainly interested in what you can do from here and now” … a young professional said loudly and emphatically to a friend. Half wrong, therefore wrong. Because our past is a good and fairly reliable projection of what we can achieve in the future.
- “Corporate stories must be curated and nurtured – they’re a valuable asset for the future“, advise us Dr Ileana Stigliani of Imperial College Business School in a recent article @ https://www.imperial.ac.uk/business-school/knowledge/strategy-leadership/your-companys-history-is-a-proprietary-resource/ .
Look and do it like Piaggio, Alfa Romeo, Ducati, Bacardi, METAXA, SC Johnson and others.
- “Flying water tankers could be used” on the 850 year old structure of Notre Dame. That was the advise to the firefighters by a global leader in order to respond faster to the disaster. But the experts say that that might have caused a bigger damage. And they say that rightly, the courageous French firefighters, among the best in the world, approached the terrible fire step by step, with an exceptional detail and care for the cathedral which connects and symbolises the impressive history of an entire nation.
And there are many other examples to mention.
At this critical turning point where we are, we need a very good blend of a delicate and bold culture. One which guards our remarkable Past and treats it with care and respect – and at the same time it dares and lets the spirit fly beyond and free to build our Future.
Here below are a few good reasons to do so at both, business and personal level.
Guard the Past
- Know who we are and where we come from.
- Know our legacy.
- Learn from achievements, learn from failures.
- Identify ourselves and be authentic.
- Build our history, tell our story …
- … and use it as a reliable base to project our future.
Build the Future
- Can’t stay fixed. We will fall.
- Things must change. And there are some very strong global forces to make us do so. Climate Change, AI and Digital are some of them.
- We can become better. The rapid development of technology and the easy access to a plethora of information and data nowadays make the impossible possible.
- And finally there is a spiritual reason too. I think that the good souls of people who lived in the past and with whom we connect, would like to see us evolving and become better.
Towards the new brave world, the way is hard and tricky. Avoid the bias and one-dimensional easy advice and play multiway and flexible. Yes, dare and “make the uncomfortable your new comfortable”, but don’t ever forget who you are and where you come from. Change to fly, but also sometimes you need a steady point to stand for a while, which can be your remarkable past.
- What other ideas or thoughts can you add? Please leave a reply.