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Business or Excellence—Do We Have a Choice?

Summary: This article is an excerpt from the author's book, Continuous Permanent Improvement (Quality Press, 2014). The article presents the cautionary tale of Company X, whose goal was to become the industry leader. The lesson is that it is important, but not enough, to merely have a goal; it is equally important to have a plan or strategy on how to get there. X had no strategy, or, at best, an incomplete strategy, limited to throwing money at opening more offices and hiring more salespeople. However, they forgot a most important strategic element, which was the need to plan for excellence. They saw excellence as something that would slow down their growth. In reality, however, it was running too fast without excellence that ruined them. They finally realized that there can be no business without excellence. The article concludes that in any medium- to large-sized business, there is no substitute for building a foundation of standardized processes, trained people who will actually deliver what the salespeople promised to customers, and appropriate technology — before selling and building scale.

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  • Topics: Continuous Improvement, Strategic Planning
  • Keywords: Performance excellence, Strategic planning, Business performance, Case study, Continuous improvement (CI)
  • Author: Hariharan, Arun;
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation