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Avoid the Big Bad Wolf: Laying the Proper Foundation for Your Company

Nov 21, 2013 Company & Culture

One of my favorite activities as a dad is reading bedtime stories to my kids. One story that we are particularly fond of is The Three Little Pigs. A simple story about work ethic and planning that didn’t resonate with me until I started my own business and realized that there was a much deeper message that I could extract from a childhood favorite.

Besides making sure you have proper home insurance to support a very large- winded wolf, the story has a much deeper take away that we can apply to the business world; you must always begin construction of your business with a concrete foundation of values.

Take, for example, the first house built out of straw. Initially, this seems like a financially friendly way to begin. Constructed of cheap material and completed quickly, this organization collapses when the first breeze of adversity hits because it lacks a foundation reinforced with values. The talent takes off as straw blowing in the wind and you are left with nothing.

So you take note of this, put a few best practices in play and begin again. This time you use better materials and spend a little longer on construction. This time you are certain you have the infrastructure in place to handle those previous set backs. Yet, you still did not pour that foundation or cement your talent together with aligned values. The result, while you held up against that first few brushes of adversity, the winds kept coming and finally your organization collapsed again. 

Well they always say “third time’s a charm” and this time you are going to do it right. Now you carefully smooth those values out and let them set until a foundation is ready. From there you take the time to lay a framework to support your talent. Finally, you pick the best and strongest talent you can find and slowly stack them together while making sure that they are cemented with your organization’s values. Now you are ready! The winds may pick up and adversity can appear daunting from time to time but you have built something that is going to last. So sit back and enjoy a warm fire. The structure you now have in place will stand the test of time and those values will keep it all together.


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