Years ago, managers at Aetna Inc., Hartford (NYSE:AET) started to think of the company’s 150-year history as a liability. 

Then a new management team analyzed the company’s goals and problems, looked at the company’s strengths and weaknesses, and came up with a way to use the best aspects of that history to come up with a better way of doing things.

John R. Katzenbach and other management consultants write about the Aetna story in a commentary posted on the Web site of the Harvard Business Review.

The commentary is an excerpt from a longer version of the article that appears in the print edition of the review.

The editors of the review are presenting the turn around of Aetna — a health insurer — as an example of how many different types of organizations can improve performance by using the organization’s culture rather than discarding it.

Read the story.