New insights emerge when examining historical case studies through a business lens.
The Lessons from History (LFH) approach uses a particular perspective, or lens, through which to examine a topic (historical case study), and this guides the research as to what issues are important to examine. Qualitative researchers use theoretical lenses (Creswell, 2013, pp. 63) or perspectives (of gender, class, and race) to shape what is looked at. Grattan (2008, pp. 176) introduces the lens to view the past:
These lenses can alter or refine historians’ view of the past. History adopts a scholarly framework and attempts have been made to make history more scientific by posing hypotheses to be proved or rejected. All of these ideas affect the writing of history and can account for the way historians continually revisit periods and events in history using the lens of a particular new ideology.
Historians use lenses from disciplines like economics and social sciences to bring new dimensions and ideas to a topic, and interpret events and thinking from the past. The lenses alter or refine the historians' view of the past and why historians continually revisit periods and events. Most importantly they guide research and shape the methods by defining problem areas, content considerations, assembling evidence, and research questions that need to be answered. In the LFH series the lenses have included project management, management and general business.
“The Lessons from History workshop on The Great Escape was fascinating. Too often, project management concepts are talked about in the abstract, but this workshop really helped to make project management concepts ‘real’ for the participants. Mark peppered his presentation with interesting anecdotes, and those, together with his obvious passion for the subject matter, engaged the audience to the extent that some claimed afterward it was ‘the most interesting PD’ they’d ever experienced in the public service.”
“Mark, it was an honor to have you speak. You opened my eyes to the many avoidable miscues of the Titanic that are absolutely transferable lessons learned we can all take to heart and apply in our day jobs. Great job!”
“This was the best session I have attended to date. The speaker was excellent, and the topic was very, very interesting! Thanks for setting this up! I would also love to hear this speaker again!"
"The presentation was excellent. The parallels between the launching & sinking of the Titanic to Project Management were astounding. I look forward to another of your presentations."
“Mark Kozak-Holland is a phenomenon in drawing unique parallels between History and Project Management discipline. His analogies 'n' lessons are spell-binding and widely appreciated by the audience.”
"The City of Los Angeles and its Emergency Management Department have used the information presented by Mark to increase its emergency preparedness activities and our understanding of effective project management. We were pleased to be able to bring Mark to Los Angeles and share the information with our Executive Management. If any agency is interested in evaluating project management success and thinks a self evaluation would be useful, the Lessons From History offerings are the best course of action."