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Artifacts – a good and a bad thing

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - Joe Kiedinger

Are you aware of artifacts and their power? Artifacts remind us of how things were, celebrate the past and tell stories. Companies and families both have artifacts. The artifact in this picture is only a couple of years old. My daughter, Aria, used to wear these shoes every day. They represent her carefree personality. The sign above them is a gift she made for me. I present these together in my office. It reminds me of the eleven-year-old version of Aria. However, they don’t make me want to hold on to the past. I want her to continue to grow and become the truly unique person she’s meant to be.

In business, do you have artifacts? Do you collect items from your history? These artifacts tell a story. They should celebrate your past and put your present into perspective. I have seen artifacts that hold companies back—like a company that claimed to be innovative, but their lobby looked like something from the 70’s. You can celebrate the past without looking like the past. 

I remember while at Disney Institute, the decade after Walt passed was full of uncertainty. The battle cry was, “What would Walt do?” Times were changing and the executive team finally realized that they couldn’t make decisions based on what they thought Walt would have or would not have done. They had to make decisions that moved the company forward. Basically, it was time to break free of Uncle Walt.

Do you have any artifacts where you work? Are things being saved and chronicled? Are they helping your organization move forward? Are there any artifacts holding your company back? Makes you think.

Joe Kiedinger

Sometimes, all it takes is a little inspiration.

Understanding where others are coming from is critical in communicating and working toward a common cause.