“This is a simple game.
ya throw the ball, ya hit the ball,
ya catch the ball.”
(from the film Bull Durham)
Every day, every box score is the same: “runs, hits, errors.” It is amazing how many errors professional baseball players make. It is amazing how many of the best gymnasts fail to “stick the landing.” Getting the fundamentals right is one tough assignment.
To be honest, I have always been just a little obsessed with the ideas of “the basics.” There are a few synonyms: the “fundamentals,” the “core issues”… but you get the idea. You always have to go back to the basics. You know, “this is a simple game: you throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball.”
And if you want to know what will really do you in, it’s those unforced errors. In business, these are the “forgetting what matters” errors.
Or, if you want to describe it another way, try this: “build a solid foundation.” Get the foundation firm, and then everything you build on top of it will stand the business storms. And, by the way, maybe the reason I have always been just a little obsessed with “the basics” is that I have such trouble. I forget the “fundamentals”.
I regularly like to quote Drucker’s three question to my audiences. These are great “fundamentals” questions:
- What is my business?
- Who is my customer?
- What does my customer consider value?
Everything flows from such “basic” questions? If I know my business, if I know my product and my service, if I know what my customer needs and why he/she needs it, and what he/she does with what I provide, then I have a shot at staying in business.
And at the moment, I think this is what the customer is after:
- Good quality (really good quality)
- Something better than what he/she was using before
- Faster delivery than ever
- No headaches or hassles at all
Now, to succeed at this challenge, of course you need to make the right hires. Then, provide the right training and encouragement and challenge. You’ll need the right feedback and “supervision” providing the right amount of freedom and empowerment and reward. And then, get rid of your current bottleneck, and the next one, and the one after that… the list does grow long in a hurry.
But it all starts from the right starting point — that solid foundation, the true basics.
So – how about you and your department? Are your fundamentals solid?
Professional Speaker & Writer
Co-founder, First Friday Book Synopsis