Power of High Standards

If you have time, read this excellent (long) article on the power of high standards, by David Maister.

Here’s a key quote, from his study of 5,500 people in 139 offices around the world.

Nine factors account for more than 50 percent of all profit differences:

  1. Client satisfaction is a top priority at our company.
  2. We have no room for those who put their personal agenda ahead of the interests of the clients or the office.
  3. Those who contribute the most to the overall success of the office are the most highly rewarded.
  4. Management gets the best work out of everybody in the office.
  5. Around here you are required, not just encouraged, to learn and develop new skills.
  6. We invest a significant amount of time in things that will pay off in the future.
  7. People within our office always treat others with respect.
  8. The quality of supervision on client projects is uniformly high.
  9. The quality of the professionals in our office is as high as can be expected.

The critical part here is not saying it, it’s doing it — actually having the standard and lovingly enforcing it.

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