How to edge out your competition one detail at a time

imgres“The devil is in the details.”  How many times you heard that statement? While it sounds like a cliche, in today’s competitive environment it couldn’t be more important.

In fact, competition today exists in every type of business and organization today.  Retailers want your spending dollar over their competition.  Universities want your students over every other school.  Non-profits want you to spend your time and donations with them.  And in fact, ministry organizations can even fall in the trap of competing for members.

So why should leaders focus on this minutia?  Well, I believe it’s where your competitive edge lives.  Consider these four truths:

Errors multiply when the details are missed.
Perfection is an unrealistic goal.  However, the expectation to strive for it creates a focus on excellence and through that, mistakes are minimized.  For most teams, dollars and cents accuracy is an often-attainable goal.  But those qualitative parts of performance can be a playground for error – things like thoroughness, going the extra mile with a customer and not settling for “good enough” when better and best are possible.

Excellence is often an “experience” and it’s those little details that create a “wow”.
We’ve all been there.  You encounter someone who simply wows you.  It typically doesn’t happen every day. Why? Remarkable experiences are unique.  Very few have learned the science and art of going above and beyond in service to truly delight the customer.  So, how do these few amaze us?  It’s no accident.  They have learned those little details that take an okay experience to one you must share with others.

Efficiencies are found when you examine pieces and parts.
Cost savings rarely occur in big chunks of money.  But instead, they grow in little increments – those efforts to really examine how and why things are done.  Great teams develop the discipline of continuous process improvement – finding ways to hone strengths as well as learn from its mistakes.  Little by little efficiencies emerge and those details can impact every part of the organization.

Quality is every employee’s job.
Too often, the masses carry the weight of the team. You know, the 80/20 rule.  But for a team who is serious about excellence, quality becomes everyone’s job.  Imagine the success of a team when every single member is doing 100% and helping his teammates do the same.  Amazing results are bound to happen.

So, here’s an interesting thought.  For any of the topics listed above, how would your employees rate the team’s (or organization’s) effectiveness?  And perhaps even more insightful, what would your customers say?

This business skill can make or break you.  So for once, go ahead and get a little evil.  That’s right, look for the devil in the details of your business.  You’ll find the results are simply heavenly.

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