The Enemy of Excellent is Good

At school I was a pretty good student. Rarely did I top the class, but I came second nearly every year. I could do maths and English achieving above average results. Even at sport I was ok. I would run in the 100m and come 3rd or 4th every time.

But the whole time I was envious of the kid who was excellent. There was the kid who could say their times tables the fastest, the kid who would win the 100m race, the maths whiz, and the brilliant essay writer, the athlete, the swimmer, and the team sports star.

I was an all-rounder who wasn’t excellent at anything! And because I was good, I had an attitude of ‘good enough’ which for a long time prevented me from trying to be excellent.

People who start a business are usually good at their core activity but are not skilled in running a business or managing people. The challenge for them is to avoid being stuck at the ‘good’ phase, which often prevents the organisation from growing beyond its current boundaries.

Even larger organisations can be satisfied with being ‘good’ at what they do and miss the opportunity to become excellent. Jim Collins also talked about this in his 2001 book Good to Great, where he studied successful organisations that made a leap in performance and then managed to sustain that over a long period of time.

In 10% Better I have taken the lessons I’ve learned from working with and observing a multitude of organisations of differing sizes and industries over the past 30 years and distilled this into 3 pillars for success – Inspire, Empower, Enhance. In the attached diagram these 3 pillars are extended into areas of focus that require processes to continually improve and drive the organisation forward.

Following the Inspire – Empower – Enhance cycle will guide your organisation to continually be 10% better. By taking this path toward organisational excellence your people will be engaged, profits will rise, and you will build resilience so your organisation can sustain change and challenge and be a legacy long into the future.

What’s stopping you from taking your organisation to the next level?