It was that last slab in the garden terrace that broke the tip of my middle finger. Well, actually it was not the slab itself, it was the heavy, rubber hammer that hit the slab, with my finger in between! At first, I thought that my finger was just blueish-purple – badly bruised, and it felt very sensitive. Very inconvenient, I thought, but hey I’ll get over it! However, my caring wife insisted that I should see our general practitioner, who sent me off to hospital, which led to an x-ray and the conclusion that the finger was actually broken. Given the break’s location, the medical staff couldn’t do much for me, it has to heal itself and I simply need to be careful and try to avoid using the finger. So, for the coming weeks, there is clearly going to be no more home improvement work for me!

What did this inconvenient lesson teach me? Obviously that one can never be cautious enough when working on a home improvement project. That’s an open door. But in a more practical sense I am now, two weeks later, still amazed to notice how much we use our middle fingers for simple daily tasks. Try, for instance, to tie your shoelaces or eat your dinner with a knife and fork without using your middle finger. Try it! I wouldn’t say it is impossible, but at the very least it is inconvenient and for me it can be quite painful during those moments that I, for a split second, forget about the state of my finger and touch the tip.

On the business side, the first noticeable inconvenience is typing on my keyboard, which now has a new dimension. Luckily, during video calls, business continues more or less as normal. It does make me think about work in a broader sense. Think about this; what in your work do you take for granted that would hurt you, business-wise, if it was no longer there? Think about your team, your stakeholders, your alliance partners, your skills … are you paying enough attention to everything? Or is it time to reach out, renew the relationships or sharpen your skills?

Don’t just think about it, take appropriate action and don’t wait till it’s broken!