Why Historical Timelines Matter to Your Organization

Historical Timelines

While the past may be over, it often holds a wealth of content to use for storytelling and inspiration that can instill the importance of your organization’s values and bring people together. When used strategically the past is a powerful tool for establishing the identity and shared goals of your organization, as well as helping to shape your future. A historical timeline is a great way to illustrate your history for all to see.

Here are 6 ways to strategically use your organization’s history and historical timeline:

  1. Starting your timeline with the founders and original leaders is an effective way to showcase the values and goals that shape the foundation of your mission and work. This is something you can show to young leaders and new hires to instill the characteristics and dedication that made the founders successful in their pursuits.
  2. Viewing an organization through a historical lens can give employees the feeling of being part of something larger than themselves, instead of only seeing what is immediately in front of them. People often like to feel like they are part of something that makes a contribution in the world. A historical timeline shows them there are people who came before them, and those who will come after, and they should be proud of their part in contributing to the bigger picture. This also instills a sense of teamwork and cooperation.
  3. History provides lessons. It reminds us what worked and what didn’t and gives a roadmap for how to thrive in the present and future. Using your historical timeline to illustrate such lessons is a great way to give meaning to your history, and provides guidance for making better decisions now. History also helps to explain why your organization is set up the way it is, and operates the way it does. While something may seem arbitrary, unnecessary, or just plain wrong, showing people the history behind and underlying reasons for it can help show how it is actually appropriate and necessary.
  4. Highlighting past challenges and the ways in which your organization weathered them is a great tool to use during uncertain times. When you face present challenges and uncertainties, like in the case of a merger or rocky market, turning to past examples of success in the face of adversity provides a boost in confidence in your ability to overcome. In this sense, a historical timeline can remind your team who you are when times get tough. History also helps us think long term and not get stuck only seeing the immediate future.
  5. A historical timeline can also highlight the longevity of your organization. This illustrates for prospective and current clients that they can depend on you having however many years of experience at what you do. It shows that your products and services are something they can rely on for solutions.
  6. A historical timeline is a great place to honor important people in your organization’s past. Not only should founders and important leaders be mentioned, but you can also mention donors who gave their money and/or time to help your organization thrive. When such donors visit, showing them their place on your timeline is a powerful way to say thank you and to encourage future giving.

Do you need a way to honor, display, and consolidate your organization’s story in one place? Are you faced with displaying artifacts, remembering events and milestones, and ensuring you have room for future accomplishments? Contact our experts today to learn how to create a historical timeline for your organization.


Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, Adler Display brings over 78 years of experience to its clients in need of recognition displays, lobby and corporate interiors, custom exhibits, historical timelines, trade show displays, and signage and graphics.  For more information about Adler Display, please visit our website at www.adlerdisplay.com or call us at: 855-552-3537.