In the day-to-day management of a company, business owners and managers rarely have time to think about the past. Nostalgia, after all, is for those who are not seeking greatness. Anyone who wants to thrive and succeed has little time for irrelevant details. Is the history of a company irrelevant, though? Is it really not important?
You will mostly hear about your company’s history during anniversaries and celebrations. In truth, they will just be a passing tidbit of information. They’re not even going to be the center of the party. A company’s history is left to those who are still with the organization despite the challenges it faced. How many times, for example, have you been surprised that your company is celebrating its nth anniversary? How many times has the thought taken you back? “Oh, we’ve been here since forever, right?”
But true leaders know that a company’s history is more than just about the fireworks and celebrations. It is not about that one day every year when you commemorate all the sacrifices you’ve made for the company to work. Leaders must not only be patient with their company’s history, but they must also fully embrace it. The consequence is the inability of companies to move forward and adapt to an ever-changing society.
How to Keep a Company’s History Alive
Companies that started when digital cameras and smartphones were already present are lucky. After all, it is so much easier to document every milestone that the company reached. It is harder for older companies to look into their archives and find evidence of how they were the first to implement a policy or how they brainstormed for a product. In many ways, decades-old companies tend to forget where they started.
Maybe what they need is a reminder? Look into your storage rooms. You might find printed photos, film negatives, video reels, hard drives, and audiotapes. Make sure that they’re well-protected by availing of video storage and management services. All of these data will complete the picture of how your company came to be. When did it start? How did it start? What milestones did it reach in the first decade? These are details that people always seem to forget, but they are details that are nonetheless important to the leaders, employees, and customers.
The Link Between a Company’s History and Its People
How can you forget where it all started? Sometimes, all business owners need is to remember how tough it was during the first few years. Sure, things are different now, and, in a way, the pandemic made everything tougher. But isn’t it more difficult in the past? Isn’t the world a bit crueler for first-time entrepreneurs and their small business ventures? Looking at your company’s history will remind you of all the sacrifices you made for it. The pandemic, though disruptive and painful, will fail in comparison to the challenges your business has to face when it started.
Your employees also need to appreciate the business. What they see is the business today, but they didn’t see how it started. You might have a handful of employees now who were there from the start. They’ve made enormous sacrifices for the business, too. But your new employees are the ones who need a better understanding of the company’s history and how its values shaped its success.
For customers, it is also vital that they learn about a company’s history. Customers who understand the values of a company are more inclined to be loyal. When they know that a company has never neglected customers in the past or has a long-standing history of taking care of their employees, then they’ll most likely be patrons of it. A company’s history also tells the story of how they’ve taken care of their consumers. Without this, no company would’ve lasted for hundreds of years.
Think of yourself as a consumer. Don’t you trust a company that’s been around for hundreds of years? When you see a company marketing itself as being around since the 1800s, isn’t that fact something that will push you to try what that company is offering?
The world is full of stories—of businesses that thrived despite the Great Depression, of ventures that found their footing amid a pandemic, and of people who made a business what it is. There is so much wisdom to be taken from the past. It will be such a shame if businesses cannot harness the power of history to better themselves and to use the lessons to achieve success despite the most turbulent of times.