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Let go of the Past, Engage with the Present, and Position for the Future.

Dan Ram

In recent times, many historic brands have crumbled before our eyes such as Toys ‘R’ Us, Blockbuster, and Kodak. Why? Sheer refusal to let go of the past. Many brand continue to depend on their heritage and history rather than positioning for the future.

The son of an Indian diplomat, my childhood involved moved country to country every 2 to 3 years. This presented me with so many unique opportunities. I want to highlight one – music. Given my Asian heritage, I began with traditional classical music. But when I moved to Zimbabwe, I got to learn music of the church as well as jazz music. When I was graduating school in Morocco, I picked up more pop music seeping in from Europe to North Africa. In the US I immersed myself in r&b and soul music and the infusion of local music continued in Indonesia, India and now Ireland.

My international music journey serves as a metaphor for organisational change. Each season presents unique opportunities and the best way to navigate a fast-moving world is to:

“Let go of the Past, Engage with the Present, and Position for the Future.”

This mantra enabled me to grow, to adapt, and to evolve in each new country. It is the exact same in business. Companies need to learn to let go of the past. What made you successful in the past, won’t necessarily make you successful in the future.

A great example of letting go of the past is CNN, the king of traditional television. During one the Republican debates in 2016, CNN recorded over 23 million live viewers, the second most watched broadcast of all time. Despite this, CNN still shared all of the content on various social media channels. ONE Facebook page, not even managed by CNN recorded over 100 million views of the same content. CNN exemplify a company engaging with the PRESENT in order to position for the FUTURE.

In an ever changing digital landscape, it is easy to try to hold on to the familiar PASTbut I implore you to LET GO. Your future depends on it.

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