In my latest book, HOW TO BUILD A FIRE: THREE EASY TAKE-AWAYS FOR GETTING YOUR COMPANY GOING! (published December, 2011) I talk about the various methods for fire building in an organization. In this blog, I’m going to discuss the aberrations of fire building – when things don’t go quite as planned. And I’ve noticed, through my wide experience in fire building – both in the fireplace and work settings – that this happens frequently. The “three-match fire” is that fire where you have all the paper, kindling, pitchy sticks arrayed in the fireplace (or, work setting) then apply the match. It seems to burn, but then fizzles. You discover this – and apply the match again. It fizzles. So you apply the match one more time, and ultimately the fire starts. This ever happened to you? I mention this scenario because I think it’s instructive to remind ourselves, as fire builders, that there are times when repeated, but persistent, starts are necessary.

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