I’d like to share a verse with you, written four centuries ago by a Welsh clergyman named George Herbert and published by Benjamin Franklin in his Poor Richard’s Almanack.
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe, the horse was lost.
For want of a horse, the rider was lost.
For want of a rider, the battle was lost.
For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
It’s amazing to think how important small details can be in our own lives, as well. In the case of this poem, the fate of an entire nation rested on a single nail. While obviously farfetched, this story does illustrate the far-reaching effects a seemingly insignificant detail can have in shaping events in our lives… and in the lives of our businesses.
So, as you consider the activities and decisions facing your company in the days, weeks, and months ahead, be careful not to overlook any horseshoe nails.