Remember when we tried to do our best? To "exceed expectations?" Nowadays, as Cubs manager Joe Maddon famously coined, it seems we just “try not to suck.” In this hyper-connected, over-stimulated, fast-paced world, we have everything at our fingertips at the same time that the overall standards have been lowered. Consumers are increasingly receiving mediocre results, service, quality, value and ROI no matter the line of work they are in.
To understand this movement we need to look at those providing the service, products and experiences. An addictive cycle is overcoming great businesses. They have become fixated by the next project, call, proposal, customer, etc. So much so that there is "no time” to beautifully finish what was originally started - the details that make work remarkable.
It is possible that these details are what make the difference between mediocre and excellent.
Building ROI through details
Think of how Gordon Ramsay plates a dish. The smallest things that he pays attention to add up to set his dish apart from the same meal with the same ingredients next to it. It isn't one particular stunt that has put him on the map but rather consistent excellence in the smallest of forms. Furthering the fine dining metaphor:
"Excellence is thousands of details executed perfectly. If you can focus on them individually, as opposed to all at once, that's when you get somewhere."
Owner of Eleven Madison Park (regularly rated one of the best restaurants in the world)
It takes more effort than we realize to “try not to suck”
That effort mostly is demonstrated by finding ways to cut corners or by investing in time to automate in the wrong ways that make a brand unlikable.
If we apply that same effort productively by recognizing the ones that go above and beyond to deliver the unexpected service – the barista, the waiter, the CEO, the Uber driver, the professor, the salesman, or whoever else then we are also reinforcing a way to break this addictive cycle. The unexpected and over-the-top is becoming so scarce, it will be easy to find. Unsurprisingly, they typically are the best at what they do – and the happiest ones doing it.
Break the cycle in your business, team or department
When thinking of your work, consider ways to align your assets and resources into a targeted approach, so you are not spread too thin trying to keep up with different things. The efficiency you create for yourself here will allow you to focus on the details that can add up to a well-executed approach.
Learn how to build ROI through the right marketing strategy.
Updated for added value.