The 30 Fundamentals that make up the “ConnectSMART Way” describe how we want to run our business – the way we treat our clients, the way we work with each other, and even the way we relate to our vendors and suppliers. They’re who we are and they’re the foundation of our success. They drive everything we do, every day. Each week we focus on a different fundamental and discuss in depth.[/content_box]
Fundamental #10: Do it Right the First Time
The goal is to get things “right,” not simply to get them “done.” While we always want to work with a sense of urgency, sometimes we need to slow down in order to speed up. Double-check your work.
We can all quote a hundred quotes about doing things right the first time. We all believe it to be true. I don’t think that there is anyone who would disagree with this fundamental and say that it really doesn’t apply. So why do we have such an obvious fundamental if we don’t need to focus on it? The reality is that we all believe it but don’t live it all the time. Why is that? Sometimes it is because we are inherently lazy and hope that someone else will take up the slack or we can get by with good enough, but that isn’t how we are made up. Those kind of people don’t last very long at Connections and ConnectSMART! If we all believe that we need to do it right the first time, why don’t we all do it all the time?
I think that one important aspect of this is time itself. We don’t feel we have the time. Many things have been written on this and we have all heard the rejoinder of “when are you going to have time to do it over?”. I think that the key is that many times we fail at an aspect of our very first fundamental. Do the RIGHT thing. Maybe we are unable to do it right because we haven’t thought through what the right thing is to do right in the first place! You can spend a lot of time getting a square peg shaped just right to be put into a round hole or simply put it in the square hole in the first place! The funny thing is that one of the earliest toys that kids get teach them this skill. A shape sorter of some kind was probably in every one of our homes. We all figured out which shape went in which hole fairly quickly. Then we grow up and think that we are expected to get this particular peg in this particular hole!
One of our core beliefs at Connections and ConnectSMART is creativity or ‘thinking outside the box’. Different aspects of this core is seen in our fundamentals of #21 Always make it better, #8 Continuously seek improvement, #7 Always ask why, and others. You’ve heard us say many times one of the most irritating things to both Dave and I is to hear that something is being done in a particular way because “we’ve always done it that way”. Something that makes our companies different is that we aren’t just here to give our customers what they asked for. We are here to understand what they need and help them to achieve their goals. Once we understand what their true needs and goals are then we can create a plan of how to help them achieve it. That is the aspect of what I am trying to bring out in this fundamental. If we do the wrong thing “right the first time”, the customer experience will still be that we failed. Not because we didn’t do it right, but because we didn’t do the right thing right!
Take time to understand what the right thing is and then take the time to do it right! It takes practice and perspective to do it right the first time. Before you start each task this week ask yourself if you have all the information you need (#27 Get the facts), and then commit to do it right the first time!