August 20, 2007

Company Heritage

I spent this evening watching a videotape of the day I was married, nineteen years ago (yes, today is our nineteenth wedding anniversary).

We used an antique device called a "VCR" to watch the video. This unit utilizes oversized versions of cassette tapes to record and play images. At times the image isn't perfect, so a function called "tracking" self-adjusts the image, improving clarity.

When we watched the video, we could see how we ended up where we are today. We saw our Grandparents in the video, folks who are no longer with us. Our history, our heritage, revealed themselves in the images.

Which gets one to thinking about companies. Sometimes you'll hear a new CEO talk about "going back to what made us great".

If you don't have a videotape recording of the time when your company was "great", and you're a new CEO who came from outside the company, how do you bring the heritage of your company to life when you (and in all likelihood, your executive team) weren't part of the heritage that originally made the company great?

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