The other day I was chatting to my brother-in-law, who works at a very well-known FMCG company. here in Cape Town.

We were talking about brands - good ones, valuable ones, innovative ones.

He was telling me that where he works, there is a generally accepted expectation that brands, in certain alcohol categories, take about 15 years to build.

15 years - from concept and design, prototyping, tinkering with the brand recipe etc etc. until they can be considered a commercial success.

That's a long time. A big investment of time, money and effort for a hopeful payoff in the future.

Our modern business culture demands of us that results come quickly. There is little tolerance for projects that take too long to yield positive returns. So those that fail to deliver quickly, get tossed aside - labelled a failure and blacklisted forever.

How many great ideas have been given the boot because they apparently just took too long to deliver?

How many 'future successful businesses' have closed because the founders just weren't patient enough to wait for them to fully bloom?

Our accounting systems sadly only measure the business activity we manage to convert in a period, not all of the unseen opportunity we failed to recognise and harness.

Spotting the need for patience so that a project has enough time to reach its required maturity is an art, that is perfected through practice and a touch of advanced business intuition.