We beat on, against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past

We beat on, against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past

You can?t navigate tomorrow?s landscape with yesterday?s maps

Image for postLeonardo DiCaprio, ?The Great Gatsby? ? Village Roadshow, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2013

In this disruptive and transformative environment, many talented people and companies choose to embrace their legacy models of success, with renewed vigor, applying new tools and advanced analytics, and are then often perplexed by their lack of forward progress.

This conundrum is best illuminated by F. Scott Fitzgerald, in American literature?s most famous closing sentences, as he describes Jay Gatsby?s dream of returning to his past, only this time with a better and more sustainable outcome.

His dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him?

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that?s no matter ? tomorrow we will run faster, stretch our arms further . . . And one fine morning ?

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

We can empathize with this yearning for our historical success, success we worked hard to achieve. And, we commiserate with the desire to go return to halcyon days; we readily succumb to the seduction of our comfort zone? Unfortunately, to look to our past for success in our future is to futilely beat on against an inexorable disruptive current.

We must learn from the past. However, there is no going back. Bridges must be burned. The ?green light? is not a beacon to follow.

We can?t navigate tomorrow?s landscape with yesterday?s maps.

?Traveler, there is no path. The path is made by walking.? ? Antonio Machado

David J. Katz, New York City ? December 2017

David J. Katz is chief marketing officer at Randa Accessories, an industry-leading multinational consumer products company, and the world?s largest men?s accessories business.

His specialty is collaborating with retailers, brands and suppliers to innovate successful outcomes in evolving markets.

David was selected by LinkedIn as a ?Top Voice in 2017.? He has been named a leading fashion industry ?Change Agent? by Women?s Wear Daily and a ?Menswear Mover? by MR Magazine.

He is a public speaker, co-author of the best-selling book ?Design for Response: Creative Direct Marketing That Works? [Rockport Publishers]. He has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, MR Magazine, and WWD.

David is a graduate of Tufts University and the Harvard Business School.

He is a student of neurobiology, consumer behavior and ?stimulus and response.? The name Pavlov rings a bell.

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