The ostracod is extinct. Over millions of years, with good reasons at every step, it evolved to become the creature it was.
And when we add up all of those little steps, we end up with a creature that was no longer fit for its environment.
Organizations develop like this. So do work practices, cultural systems and “the way we do things around here.”
I’m sure there was a really good reason twenty years ago for all the steps that are now involved in the thing you do right now, but your competitor, the one who is starting from scratch, is skipping most of them.
Every day we get a new chance to start again. And if you do not, someone else will.
[Update! I apologize to all fans of the ostracodish. While some types are gone, it is very much not extinct. Which I’m glad about, even if the metaphor isn’t as good.]