It is often said that the unknowns in the business or financial worlds are the most dangerous elements. Likewise, our approach to certain issues, whether they are unknown or not, is a key factor that will determine a success or failure.
In my travels this last week, I visited an “S-Bridge”, constructed on The National Road around 1824 or so just west of New Concord Ohio. At first glance, the bridge (which were numerous at the time) seems an odd-fit, and is peculiar looking at best. But, when its design is understood, the bridge and what it accomplishes, becomes crystal clear.
The builders of 200 years ago, when confronting a stream or river that needed to be spanned, would do this with hand-hewn stone blocks, formed into an arch that supported a roadway. However, in order to perform this work with manual labor and more importantly- for that bridge to stand the test of time (they are STILL standing), it was of utmost importance for the building to approach the obstacle, i.e. stream or river, at a “right angle”.
In other words, they approached the obstacle head on.
By slighting bending the approaches of the bridge, the builder could then construct a very strong and squarely built span that would not rely on complex and difficult mitered and compound angles and joints. He simply built a straight-a-way bridge, over what may have been a not so straight-a-way obstacle.
In our everyday lives, we must do the same. Even though the technology of today is perhaps more advanced than it was in the early 19th century, the concepts of success are still the same.
Identify your obstacle, develop a plan of action that meets the obstacle head on, and then build your bridge to overcome it, and provide lasting success for you and your organization.