Saturday 30 October 2021

Helping People Let Go of the Past

This post's podcast episode is available at SounderApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcher and Spotify.

When you are short of time, here is the one action that will give you 80 percent results in 20 percent of the time.


Honour their past.


–       Pay tribute to past successes and honouring work histories.

–        Spotlight symbols of the past (e.g., awards, legacy ad campaigns, etc.).

–        Position the past as a foundation for future success.

Most people need to pay tribute to their current ways of working before they can make room for new ones. The faster this happens, the faster they will adopt new ways of working. Failure to do so will leave people stuck in ‘the good old days’ and/or fearful of future ones. Both mindsets lead to poor adoption of new attitudes and routines.

To speed the transition process, acknowledge past successes and honour symbols of that era (e.g. past heroes, trophies, photographs, logos). Then, make a bridge between past accomplishments and future requirements. Calling the new era the “next chapter” of the company’s story builds on the previous ones they’re proud of. 

Honouring the past doesn’t mean holding on to it. Looking backward can lead to moving forward if it’s quick and meaningful. The past must be viewed as the launching pad for a new future that requires new thinking, actions and behaviours.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS PLANNING TOOL: How will I acknowledge the past?


Quoting people’s recollections makes the acknowledgements more credible, real and heartfelt.

To learn more about our post and podcast topics, check out the Change on the Run: 44 Ways to Survive Workplace Uncertainty book and audiobook at or your favourite bookseller.

#change #changemanagement #transformation #leadership #transitions #podcasts