Over the last few days, I’ve been on the road quite a bit. Looking at the path ahead and the rearview mirror to scan the environment to ensure a safe path. Some cars were weaving out of their lane, some were speeding ahead, others were moving slowly. By looking forward and behind me, I was able to adjust my course appropriately to make for a safe trip.
The trip got me thinking about a friend describing meetings he had recently attended. There were some new people in the organization. They were thinking about how to improve and innovate. Fantastic! What they didn’t realize was that road had already been traveled with considerable effort, ultimately discarded as not workable. Circumstances had not changed such that revisiting the effort would result in success. It was only in the meeting that the history surfaced and gave new light to the best road to travel.
It is true that you can’t be successful by looking strictly in the rearview mirror to manage a business. But understanding history is important too. How are you creating a learning environment that understands your history and the circumstances that supported it?