Learning from Experience

I have a country neighbour who decided to put up a fence. They acquired those 6 foot high by 8 foot long, pre-assembled solid fence panels and proceeded to put the fence up using 4×4 posts set in dirt every 8 feet.

It gets really windy in this region. Howling windy. And they are located in an unsheltered lot.

They got about 8-10 panels up before the first wind and rainstorm struck from the north. The next day we saw part of the fence leaning at a 45 degree angle, a bobcat (tractor) holding part of the fence up and a bunch of boards holding the rest up.

A week or two later they straightened it up and added a few more panels using the same methodology. Again the wind blew from the north but they had the bobcat, and a bunch of boards bracing the fence. So it leaned a bit but did not blow over.

A few weeks ago they added more panels using the same methodology.

Guess what?

The wind blew from the southwest.

Today we drove by and half the fence was down.

They were treating the symptoms of a north wind and did not plan for a south-west wind.

It is like a one of those comedy shows about a dysfunctional family and the disasters they face. Except is it more sad than funny. I think some of the people living there are in the construction industry!

Lessons

  • Are you doing the same things over and over and expecting a different outcome?
  • Are you treating the symptoms and ignoring the real problem?
  • Are you failing to plan ahead and anticipate relatively obvious potential future problems?
  • Are you so focused on accomplishing the goal in the way you know that you fail to see another alternative that could get you there as effectively?

Learn from experience. Plan ahead and deal with the issues. Be open to a change in strategy and tactics.

Set your posts in concrete. Make sure they will support the load (enough posts or more solid posts). Assume the wind will blow from all directions. Maybe you can live with a hedge or a picket fence instead.

By | 2017-04-03T12:20:34+00:00 November 17th, 2009|Categories: Business Strategy, Doug's Blog, Mindset and Motivation|

About the Author:

Doug Wagner is an entrepreneur, President and Co-founder of Sunwapta Solutions. Sunwapta's mission is to help businesses transform from surviving to thriving, sustainable growth. From strategy to implementation, this means marketing, sales, managing your brand and delivering consistent value. Get more clients and keep them.