“Stradivarius did not need any patent on his violins, for no other violin maker would pay such a price for excellence(emphasis mine) as he paid; would take such pains to put his stamp of superiority upon his instrument(Marden,loc. 3677).” Why is it that Stradivarius violins command extremely high value? Because the inventor strove for excellence.
Companies that strive for excellence will produce products and services that are always in demand, grow company value to demand the highest price, and build a reputation that is respected by the people they serve.
In order for a business to strive for excellence, the following must continually be happening within the organization:
• A Commitment to Excellence- Everyone in the organization beginning with the leaders must be committed to excellence. Commitment to excellence means, “Never be satisfied with “fairly good,” “pretty good,” “good enough.” Accept nothing short of your best(Marden, loc 3667).”
• A Process Built Around Excellent Systems- Companies that are built with excellent processes such as continually developing their people into leaders, do not rely on the owner to grow the company into the future. The company is able to replicate its success over and over because of a culture established to develop from within.
• Discipline to Maintain Commitment to the Process- Jim Collins said, “Visionary companies focus primarily on beating themselves. Success and beating competitors comes to the visionary companies not so much as the end goal, but as a residual result of relentlessly asking the question “How can we improve ourselves to do better tomorrow than we did today?” And they have asked this question day in and day out-as a disciplined way of life-in some cases for over 150 years(Collins, Porras, p.10).”
Strive for excellence by being committed to excellence, building excellent processes, and maintaining a discipline to excellence day in and day out.
*Marden, Orson Swett, (1911) Pushing to the Front, Kindle Edition
*Collins, Jim and Porras, Jerry I. (1994) Built To Last