Unless you are starting your own business, or one of the founding members of a company, there is a history associated with your organization. People who have come and gone, culture has been established and changed, both good experiences and hurts all come into play.
While we aim to forgive and move on, the events of the past are impossible to forget. They affect your reactions to change and dictate how you respond when others talk about the company. It takes extreme discipline, and time, to make sure the past stays in the past.
But judging present changes, new employees, or new processes through the lens of the past will guarantee a troublesome future. Resist the urge to think "it will always be how it's been" and shrug off attempts at changing culture. Even a business with a past of failure and fear can change; be sure you're not the one holding it back.