Today marks the first week, entry, in a series of Performance Improvement related posts. I decided to begin with Excellence because it is truly the foundation of everything we do. Jim Collins published a very popular book a few years ago entitled Good To Great. I like the work for a couple of reasons. First, it is based on extensive research done with the cooperation of many important companies and not only someone’s opinion. Secondly, I like it because it pulls away the shroud of performance and how dependent every company is upon the choices and attitudes of top management. For any company to move from good performance to great performance the organization’s leader must say, “I am not satisfied with our performance, profitability, and customer satisfaction index. We can and will do much better.”
Our American economy is slowly improving. During the darkest days of our new Millennium Recession most companies went to ground. Even those with substantial war chests decided to preserve their cash by cutting spending and reducing operations. A common mistake was cutting marketing and training, which in most cases created a self fulfilling prophecy of gradual demise. Companies that choose to be, or become, great know that an excellent workforce is essential. Those leaders are acutely that only well trained employees with clear objectives, quality training, and the proper tools can perform their tasks with excellence. Employees must be engaged and filled with desire to do the best possible work. Only engaged employees can truly engage customers and drive exceptional Customer Satisfaction.
Excellence can be an essential element in all we do. We should strive for and achieve excellence in:
• Communications, both internal and external
• Cooperation, inter-company as well as intra-company
• Anticipation, imagining what will required before it is necessary
• Focusing upon the customer’s true need
…and a myriad of other job categories and functions.
Employees can and will only be excellent if and when they want to. Leadership must understand the wants and needs of the employee body as a whole. Communication must be clear, concise, and in a format and language everyone understands. Employees must have a sense of connectedness to their employer and their employer’s goals and be ready and willing to go the extra mile to defend and promote the well being of the company above all.
The question then is: “How do we create this environment of Excellence?”
Next entry we will discuss Excellence in Cooperation.
Your comments and questions are welcome.
Paul D. Alexander
Alexander Group, Inc.