Nick Powills: Start with a Foundation of Excellence
Nick Powills: Start with a Foundation of Excellence

In business, getting back to the basics – your foundation – is the easiest pathway to start winning whenever too many left turns lead to turbulence.

When you begin with a great foundation, the next stages of execution get a lot easier. Yet, in many businesses, when shortcuts are taken on the pathway to greatness, the cost of recovery increases significantly as the diversion from the original plan takes us off course.

What derails a foundation?

Too many chefs/voices in the kitchen drive a lot of change. A leadership team is built of many voices and approaches. Each, as a leader, desire a business world where their voice is heard, however, when running a company, the truth is that no one way will solve the needs/wants/desires of an entire team. It can’t. Our DNAs are too different to find a resolution that is one size fits all.

Being listened to is different than being heard. Listening to different voices and opinions may help make the foundation stronger. It may create better pathways and discover processes worth trying. The key to any business is to have a visionary who is willing to listen but unwilling to divert.

When diversions happen – whether they’re fast or take place over a period of time – visionaries must push pause and figure out which parts of the voices that were listened to got the business into a distracted, turbulent place. Then, as problem solvers, visionaries need to figure out a way to take a step back.

When taking a step back, the beauty is that within every growing business is an original way of doing things that works. Sometimes the immediate sacrifices taken to go back to that place create the best pathway forward.

So, in business (and in personal life), getting back to the basics – your foundation – is the easiest pathway to start winning whenever too many left turns lead to turbulence.

Back. To. Basics.

I think about this in my own business. As a communications agency, we have a lot of stressful problem solving to do – with clients, the media and technology. Whether it’s helping a client tell their best story, finding new ways of pitching the media, changes in a Google or Facebook algorithm or a delivery method – constant, uncontrolled change hits us on a daily basis. But, the groundwork of what has made us great – media relations > content marketing > measurement and service, strategy, relationship and results – does not change. Nor does our commitment to our core values: culture of respect, give a shit and anything is possible.

Understand your foundation. Understand your basics. Be willing to return to those business models if the business ever feels turbulent.

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