If you're a new manager, you may ride a wave of confidence as you initiate all kinds of changes to right what was wrong in your unit. That's an admirable but dangerous attitude.
As Sir John Templeton, the famous global investor, said, "The four most expensive words in the English language are, 'This time it's different.'"
Templeton, 95, understands that effective decision-makers ignore history at their own peril. Heed lessons of the past to avoid mistakes.
Balance your eagerness to make changes with an appreciation of recent initiatives in your organization. What worked? What didn't work? Why?
Don't assume that you know more than your predecessors. They may have made mistakes, but you need to remove personalities from the mix and evaluate the past without blinders on.