Perfectionism has often been the practice of most renowned artists and creatives but in recent years, it has taken a backseat to expediency and has – to a certain degree – been heavily frowned upon.
Work practices in contemporary times have much to answer for. In a wired world where email exemplifies the need for speed and instantaneous responses, it is time to ask ourselves these questions:
What is work productivity?
Can a product that is merely considered to be good enough be shipped out?
Have we been sacrificing quality control for mediocre products and/or services in a bid to stay profitable?
Is quantity more important and sustainable than quality?
In a world fascinated and – to a certain extent – obsessed with numbers and profits, there are many who have forgotten that the greatest humans who have ever lived – Newton, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Edison – have probably almost never sacrificed quality for quantity.
The Pareto Principle (“80/20” Rule) may hold for most businesses but more importantly, an age-old truth still holds true: Continued and sustained businesses belong to those organisations who hold excellence as the benchmark of their standards, and they will not accept anything less – even if, at times, this might mean delays in their delivery of products and services.
If you were the customer, would you prefer an organisation that promises timely delivery of mediocre products and/or services? Or would you rather wait for a well-created product or service that is worth the wait? In a world where we are constantly being told that speed is efficiency and effectiveness and answering emails 24/7 is productive and desirable, many of us have mistakenly felt that “good enough” is good enough. Well, if “good enough” is good enough, how does one explain the bugs and issues that often plague the first wave of most new products? Granted, no products can ever be perfect but flaws should at least be reduced to a minimum.
Well, the fact is, “”good enough” is never good enough.
Yes, we will need to deliver our products and/or services eventually. However, much time has to be put in the quality control phrase, as well as a constant need to ask ourselves how else we can improve our products. Having the best products and services in the world at a point in time does not equate to an ability to remain as the best. Competitors exist. Price wars can happen. Better products can penetrate any existing markets (since barriers to entries have already been drastically lowered due to the advancement of technology and economic globalisation). And there are caring and humanistic companies that listen to their customers.
The crux of business survival thereby lies in a constant need to thrive in times of instability, and business professionals need to not only have a strong ability to embrace change, but also to have a strong thirst for knowledge and innovation. And one tool to strive towards the ideal is that of perfectionism.
Perfectionism is not an ugly word. Do not avoid it. In fact, it may well be the word that defines human’s way of life in the coming decades, where stability and specialisation is gradually giving way to adaptability and generalisation, respectively.