“It’s the unacknowledged mistakes of yesterday that become the barriers to moving forward today!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
It’s the uncorrected mistakes of the past that usually make it difficult for organizations to move forward today – unless they are willing to acknowledge them as a mistake! And yet, the challenge with many legacy organizations have a corporate culture in which they are unwilling and unable to make such an admission.
The result is that they become stuck, fall behind, and witness significant challenges. Automotive companies aren’t necessarily failing to build vehicles because of a chip shortage – they’re failing because they failed to properly plan for the inevitability of the shift to becoming a tech-focused industry. In doing so, they failed to properly align their supply chain for massive reliance upon faster chip design and production, Retailers aren’t failing because of the arrival of the pandemic and a sudden shift to online shopping and direct delivery – it’s because they didn’t plan for the obvious reality of that shift in consumer behavior which many of us were already predicting prior to Covid-19. Manufacturing organizations aren’t failing because of overseas production and cost competition – it’s due to the fact that they didn’t invest in the high-level skills retraining demanded by the new world of manufacturing.
It’s easy to make mistakes – it’s harder for legacy organizations to admit to them. This reality results in an inability to innovate, change and adapt at the speed that our faster future demands.
The same thing happens with many individuals who are staring down difficult challenges – the most difficult thing to do is to confront our past, acknowledge our errors, admit to our mistakes, and own up to our faults. It’s natural that we don’t want to confront our past because it can be painful, difficult, and sometimes soul-destroying. And yet often, the very process of confronting yesterday helps us to align to tomorrow – by admitting where we have failed in our efforts, we can take the initiative to take on what tomorrow might bring.
We can’t go back and fix what we did yesterday – but we can take the actions that can get us to a better tomorrow! Making an admission is the first step to moving forward!