When asked if Ringo Starr was the best drummer in the world John Lennon was said to have replied “He’s not even the best drummer in the Beatles” Maybe a tongue in cheek response but this was quoted in a recent documentary about the North of England and its contribution to the Industrial Revolution. It was during a piece on George Stephenson who is regarded as the father of the railways and a major driver of industrialisation. A historian stated that while George was a good engineer he was not even the best in his village. He went on to name others who had contributed more to the technicalities of steam engine development. From humble beginnings and self-educated George became an expert in steam driven devices. What George, along with his son Robert, did understand was that the locomotive engine alone, however well engineered, was not sufficient and they spent time developing the other components of a whole solution. He knew that most energy is required going up a gradient so spent time planning the route of the tracks to be as flat as possible. He was the first to use iron tracks, knowing they would last longer under heavy loads but abandoned his own patent when a better design came along from another engineer. With these and many other insights what he produced was not just a well-engineered machine but a solution for moving cargo quickly and efficiently and so driving the industrial revolution. You can see this in your own business sector, I bet you know someone who does exceptionally well but is not a better practitioner than you? It is frustrating when competitors are doing better despite not offering the same quality of product or service. Is it the best accountant, plumber, lawyer or printer that always gets the business? Or is it the ones that communicate their solution effectively to their potential customer? When industrialists were looking to move products or raw materials they would have little interest in the technicalities of the steam engine; they wanted to know if it would solve their problem.