Get the foundation right early

27 04 2016

“It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.” ~ Robert W. Service

Like climbing a mountain, any large project or challenge is made up of discrete steps.  There are things that you must do first, and things that build on those first steps.  If you don’t lay a good foundation at the beginning of the task (or have a pebble in your shoe), then you can’t build upon it reliably, and it’s much more difficult to go back and fix the foundation once you’ve started building things on it.  So get the basics right before building on them.

As business leaders, we must first have a strong foundation before adding on the bells and whistles.  That means having an organizational unit that has motivated, dedicated employees, a sound budgetary footing, and a leader who possesses the vision to build on such a foundation.  Company mergers, as we have had, break down many of the bells and whistles, to get to a new foundation, and we’ve lived through that.  It usually takes 1-2 years after the merger to get back to a bigger, broader, stronger foundation (if the merger is done for good reason).  Then you’re back to one culture, one team of dedicated employees, and sound financials.  From there, we soar to new heights, not attainable by prior, weaker foundations.

Speaking of shoes…

LegoShoe

Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com

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