WASHINGTON, May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Start with the Future and Work Back (Hamilton Books) offers a unique and insightful look at how leading global organizations are leveraging their heritage assets to drive real business advantage.
Author Bruce Weindruch is founder and CEO of The History Factory, the firm credited with launching the “heritage management” industry more than three decades ago.
In a lively take on the business of history and the history of business, the book offers an up-close perspective on business leadership, telling stories about innovative organizations embracing their heritage to raise brand awareness, engage and inspire employees, and spark growth.
“Relevance is the key,” says Weindruch. “Every organization has a story to tell. The challenge is finding ways to draw something from your past and use it to achieve a concrete objective in the present. Heritage management helps organizations tell their story using the hallmarks of great literature, theatrical production or film, blending the written word, videos, text and imagery to tell stories that inspire.”
One of the case studies outlined in the book involves, TheHartford, America’s 11th largest insurance company. On the eve of its 200th anniversary in 2010, the firm was going through financial challenges and a leadership transition.
Weindruch’s team unearthed and helped tell the story of an Illinois-based agent who, in 1860, had to rush to a client’s home, assess its value, and quickly create a $3,400 property casualty policy because the man was leaving for a new job in Washington. That man was Abraham Lincoln. While Lincoln’s insurance policy had been a well-known part of The Hartford’s corporate culture, the agent’s story was a new angle.
“It was no longer about The Hartford itself,” Weindruch says. “It was about a single agent who went beyond the call of duty to help a valued customer in need.” The History Factory found other stories of industrious agents, packaged them together, and created an integrated, inspirational corporate heritage program with a higher rate of employee participation than any prior initiative.
Weindruch’s book also tells the story of how The History Factory was engaged to create an event commemorating the 75thanniversary of Aramco, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company. During the event, King Abdullah, son of the founder of modern Saudi Arabia — an octogenarian at the time — rose from his chair, grabbed a sword, and did a saber dance “like a man half his age.” This powerful manifestation of heritage pride became the unplanned highlight of the event.
Start with the Future and Work Back makes a powerful case for applying heritage management as a strategic discipline that enables organizations to differentiate themselves, drive growth and remain relevant in an increasingly competitive global economy. Weindruch concludes, “Those companies that embrace their heritage to advance their business objectives tend to have more ticks on their timeline – more growth, more change, more achievements – in the last five years than in their first 100.”