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How to Meet Standards Every Time

How to Meet Standards Every Time

Have you noticed that airplanes are now arriving well ahead of time in most cases? The longer the flight, the greater the degree. Not long ago I flew coast to coast and arrived 50 minutes ahead of schedule! We recently flew west and were 40 minutes early against the headwinds.

This isn’t because of speeding or shortcuts, it’s because the airlines are padding the schedules. They’re creating arbitrarily longer expectations (standards) which they can routine beat, all other considerations equal (weather, mechanical problems, and so forth). The Postal Service couldn’t meet it’s promise of box mail delivered by 8 am, so they changed the standard to 11 and get it there usually by 10:30, so they look pretty good as opposed to pretty awful.

Welcome to the school of tail wagging dog. Perhaps we should tell clients that they might break even if they hired us, thus, if we made them money, we’d look great. Or tell them that something they need we can get to in four months, but then actually do it in three. We’d look impressive, right?

Or, we wouldn’t ever be hired, have no work, and have lousy reputations.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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