Bridge Maintenance

An article in this morning’s newspaper about our nation’s infrastructure problems read, “Congress has a bias in favor of members’ pet projects rather than routine maintenance.”

“I understand the seduction,” I thought when reading that… In my business, my pet projects are way sexier than routine maintenance – until, of course, a bridge collapses and then, well, maybe not so much…

Are you spending money and time on your business on a “Bridge to Nowhere” when you should be investing in the upkeep of its roads, bridges, pipelines and fiberoptics? Even if your pet project is a Bridge to Somewhere and of real value, are you pursuing it with such single-mindedness that you’ve neglected routine maintenance of the systems that make its success possible (or at least far more likely)?

Infrastructure is about just that: structure. It is the foundation upon which you build your business and it needs to be of the appropriate scale and strength to support your business as it grows. It is your bridge to the next level, and you certainly don’t want it collapsing under you.

But infrastructure is also about connecting – I mean, what do roads, bridges, pipelines and fiberoptics do but connect people, services and goods? So what systems do you have in place for consistently and reliably connecting with clients and colleagues? How do you deliver your goods or services in not only an efficient way, but in a manner that creates a great experience for those who receive them every time? Are your roadways wide, safe and smooth? Or are they narrow, dangerous and full of potholes?

* * * * * * * * * *

How do you approach developing systems/structures for your business and then maintaining them? Though it may not always be as exciting as a pet project, do you undertake maintenance with a positive attitude? resignation? resentment? not at all? Does understanding its importance to the success of your business make the work more palatable and therefore more likely to be done on a regular basis?

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