Honor The Past While Building The Future

One of the BIG mistakes I see when someone wants to move to “what’s next”  they start slamming and smashing the previous model. While there is no doubt there are faults with whatever you are moving from, it’s not necessary to broadcast and blame in public. You don’t have to bash the past to move to the new.

There were reasons you or someone else made the choices they did. We all have to recognize we did the best we could with the information we had. Hindsight is 20/20 and we all wish we knew then what we know now. Times change…what worked in the past may not be the best choice for the future. We’re not stuck…we can move on. We NEED to move on.

I heard this quote from Gene Appel at the Sticky Teams Conference last month and it has rung true. Your best bet when making a change is to “honor the past while building the future.” Rather than potentially offending and isolating the old guard and those who have invested their lives, honor it. Thank people. Let them know they matter and their efforts have made a difference. At the same time paint a vision of the future that is brighter than the present. Lead people to the new.

Know in advance, not everyone will move with you…or be happy about the change. But some will. And you will gather new followers who are inspired by your clearly articulated vision. By honoring the work that has gone before and proving the new model works, when they are ready, you will have new advocates that will respect you for the leadership you have shown.

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