When she stepped into the role of president and eventually chairman of Columbia Sportswear following the untimely death of her husband and business owner, Gert Boyle had to learn things fast. In reflecting upon her experience, she shares a powerful and basic business principle (“How Did I Get Here?: Gert Boyle” Bloomberg Businessweek, 3/14/16–3/20/16, p. 84):
“A lot of business is common sense.”
I am not detracting from the technical experts, the proprietary processes, the hi-tech tools, the business plans, the financial analyses, or the sophisticated strategies. However, as important as that all is, it cannot replace common sense. I’m sure we have all witnessed business situations that baffled our common sense. Most of those business situations did not end well. That’s why common sense it so important.
Boyle’s affirmation reminds us that we should always start with the basics. If it doesn’t pass the common-sense test, then perhaps we need to go in a different direction. After all, common sense makes the most cents.