• For Want of a Nail……

    We have all heard the old proverb

    For want of a nail, the shoe was lost …

    For want of a shoe, the horse was lost

    For want of horse, the rider was lost

    For want of a rider, the battle was lost

    For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost”


    It is traced in written form back to at least 12th century Germany.


    Small actions can make a big difference.


    As a research manager with an oil company a group of us used to play a mind game in which we were challenged to think of the smallest action that we could imagine that would have the greatest impact on the company and if we could whisper it in the CEO’s ear he had to do what we said.   We called the game DNA.

    In 1938 German scientists discovered that if they bombarded a uranium nucleus with neutrons slowly and consistently the bonds would eventually break splitting the nucleus in two.

    Using the old proverb as a metaphor consider this scenario:

    For want of a Conversation, a Relationship was lost

    For want of a Relationship, Trust was lost

    For want of Trust, Innovation was lost

    For want of Innovation, the Company was lost

    For want of the Company, the Economy was lost

    And the Republic was not far behind.

    Recently in a LinkedIn group, somebody posted this question:

    “If most companies express the same kind of Values, why do so few companies enjoy a fully engaged workforce?”

    All for want of a nail …..


    Discussion is always welcome… frankwantland@gmail.com

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