Knowing history is important. What's been done can offer lessons for the future. But often history handcuffs a company and its future.
Every business is on a path and it's hard not to look back at milestones, strategies, and tactics that worked just a few years ago. As they say in the brokerage business, however, past performance is not a guarantee of future success.
Kodak's success selling film in the '70s, doesn't necessarily make it relevant in the world of digital photography.
Miller and Bud's historic strength in distribution doesn't help it in a world that's looking for better beer.
Miles of paper, barrels of ink, and presses as big as a battleship won't help the New York Times distribute information in a world that wants its news on a smartphone.
Every once in a while, every business should press the reset button. If for nothing else than to see what's happening in the world around them and determine if where they've been has any relevance to where the world is going.