Have you noticed how many employees seem to be in ‘one employer behind time zone’? They never left the previous one.
When I was in X we did this. In my last company we got McKinsey in and they did. In Y, three years ago, we had that culture programme and was blah, blah, blah. Or, we had a single data base, or we had teleconferences every week, or we had a Project review Committee led by Z. That system, that process, that structure, that was smart.
Whilst it is inevitable to refer to the past or, indeed, tell your war stories (provided you have an audience that wants to hear them) some people spend their (meeting) time referring to what they did in their previous company. But this is not usually said as a gentle flashback memory, but as a benchmark or so called best practice, as a suggestion for imitation or at least illustration of what is good. It always sounds as ‘that was a good example of’.
Some people are so excited about what they did, the cleverness of their past projects, the smart processes that they had and, of curse, how much they contributed to that excellence, that one wonders how much they must be missed by the old employers. So much that, occasionally, I wish they went back, so that the current colleagues could move on and have more time to look at their own ‘now and next’ with some fresh air.
I suppose if these people leave their current company one day, they will see the good things that happened there once they tell their new employers.
This is kind of Phase Delayed Employee Engagement , which could be added to the employee engagement industry toolkits. (I’d better try to trademark this).
Believe me, group and team dynamics would be many times smoother if we could focus on the now and the next. The previous experience, good or bad, will always be in the background, will always be used, but we don’t need to have the constant accounts of the past as the only smart way to shape our future. Yes, I know, learning from experience. What about un-learning fast so that we can have a bit of disk space in the brain?
Respect the past, big time, take notes, enjoy the learning, then, leave it to the archaeologists.