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This week’s riff: Finney, our new puppy, has now been with us for six months. He’s a working cocker spaniel, a gun dog bred for field sports, and he loves chasing birds and animals across fields and hedgerows. But Finney suffers from a problem. When he first leaves the house, he doesn’t like to get his paws wet. He pads around the grass like I do when walking across hot sand on our summer holiday, and sometimes he can simply come to a stop at the door as if held back by an invisible force field.

Businesses too hold themselves back from taking the actions that could transform their growth prospects. Management’s fear of failure, unwillingness to take risks or experiment fearlessly leaves their organisation at the door of success, staring out at what could have been.

Goethe, the eighteenth century German writer and statesman, once said, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” If Goethe had met Finney, he may simply have said that sometimes you just have to get your paws wet!

Off The Record: The Promised Land by Bruce Springsteen

The dogs on Main Street howl

‘Cause they understand

If I could take one moment in my hands

Mister, I ain’t a boy, no, I’m a man

And I believe in a Promised Land

© Stuart Cross 2014. All rights reserved.