For millennia people have been building walls to protect people inside and keep others out—to separate one set of people from another set of people—good versus bad. The Great Wall of China is one of the most famous, but not nearly the oldest. 7 Famous Border Walls

It’s only natural for animals and humans to congregate with others like themselves and exclude others. In the modern business world we build silos between and among Sales/Marketing, R&D, Purchasing, and Operations. Legal people weigh in on everything. Human resources professionals want everyone to be treated fairly. Even highly trained, small, military teams, such as the Navy SEALS, have to deal with people learning to overcome these divisions and work together effectively.

Working together as a team does not come easily, but is essential to so many businesses. Even if you are using outsourced services or contractors rather than employees, it’s essential for them all to understand what you value. You are their customer and need to help them understand what you want and where they are missing the mark, where things are falling through the gaps. The same is true for how you service and provide products to your customers. One strategy is to do a gap analysis to understand what the customer wants and how well a company is performing. The actions are to close those gaps, fill them in, cross the divide that separates.

I live in the City of Bridges, Portland, Oregon. We’ve used that as the theme for our annual Christmas card this year. It applies to friends that have lost contact with each other. It is important to families that are distant from one another, both physically and emotionally. It applies to our sojourn here on earth and the wide gap to what comes next.

This holiday season, as we celebrate the bridging of heaven and earth, the bridging to the new year, the bridge to a new path with renewed enthusiasm for things, consider what bridges you can build. Please enjoy our wishes to you for this holiday season and the new year. As some of you know, we create our own, unique Christmas card each year. This is the 29th edition. Please enjoy this modified .pdf of it.