The Detail Matters™ – Creating a Winning Strategy
The details are not the details. They make the design. – Charles Eames
Just like Oprah used to say, many years ago, I had an A-ha moment when it comes to detail. I realized that anyone who was not paying attention to the details of something would eventually pay a very high price. I also understood very quickly that this lack of attention to details could wreak havoc in every area of our lives – do you really think that the potential life partner who is telling you that he or she is not good at managing money will not be a problem eventually? Do you really think that the skimpy hiring process you have in place will not keep resulting in the hiring of the wrong people? I think you get the picture! Overlooking the details, even the smallest ones, will only lead to problems later – problems that may cost you dearly on every level.
I would like to look at some of the main areas of one’s life where the detail is not only important – it is vital. If you take care of the details in these areas, you will most certainly save yourself from a lot of costly experiences and mistakes.
Your Life Plan: Simply put, if you do not chart out a plan for your life, entering in all the details, even the smallest one, you will probably be a victim of circumstance. Individuals who do not chart a course for success and goal attainment, ultimately ending up living the lives that others dictate to them. Very often, it helps to work with a life coach to formulate a life plan. Goals and targets are incredibly important if you want to live a satisfied life. For example, if you do not like your present job, you have two choices: 1) you can continue to complain and stay stuck or 2) you can decide to map out a plan to get a new one. Here is where I would like to interject something important. Going after your goals or making life changes requires effort! There really are no overnight successes normally; most success comes from years of dedication to improving oneself and refining the details until the objective in mind has been achieved.
Business & Work Life
Your Business Plan: Just as you need to map out a plan for your life, you also need to do the same for your business and work life, regardless of whether you are a business owner or employee. Again, the details are vital. If you need assistance with this, you can work with a coach to put together a professional strategy to help you to build your business or to get the career that you want. Surprisingly, many business owners, especially those that own small operations do not have a clear plan for their future; therefore, it is not a revelation to discover that many of these businesses don’t last for long or they drag themselves forward carrying the burden of disorganization and the panic of constantly putting out fires.
Just like the businesses that have no plan, many individuals do not even think about creating a career plan. They aimlessly drift along in jobs that either they cannot stand or are going nowhere. Don’t you owe it to yourself to do meaningful work? Again, let me interject something very important. I am in no way advocating that someone just leave his or her job – start creating your exit plan, which again, may involve a lot of effort and learning new skills. I have found that just deciding to leave a dead-end job can really lift one’s spirits.
Create a Hiring Process to Win: If there is any area of running a business, where the detail is vital, it is in the hiring process. Constantly hiring the wrong people will drain valuable resources and cause the moral of the people that remain within the company to drop like a stone in water. Again, if you need assistance with this, reach out to a business coach. While working with clients, even those that are savvy in other areas, I have discovered very often that they are using outdated hiring processes. They use interview questions that solicit only canned answers from the applicants and these give no real insight into the person’s professional profile or character. I have worked extensively, through the years, on putting together a series of twenty questions that I call my Interview Power Questions. These have allowed me to gather so much information in advance (I send them to the candidate ahead of the interview) that very often I do not set up an interview with a candidate because of how they answered my questions. This saves an enormous amount of time. When the questions are answered correctly, ninety-nine percent of the time, the candidate that comes to the interview is far more in line with what one is looking for. Taking the time to take care of the details so that you hire the most appropriate employees pays enormous dividends.
Service Delivery: Most service is bad, or falls short of client expectations, simply because most of the time, no one is paying attention to the details. People forget to follow up with clients, the information given is sketchy at best, third-party vendors used are not properly vetted thus dragging down the whole client experience, and the list goes on! For this reason, I put together my program The Detail Matters™ – it came about from years of working in service delivery and seeing the mistakes and disasters that occurred because details were overlooked or ignored. The program concentrates on three major areas: Staff Training – it may seem straightforward and simple, but a lot of details are not taken care of because staff have not had the proper training. They don’t know enough about the product or service they are selling and / or providing, and they don’t know enough about the client and his or her needs. Service Delivery – While the service is being provided, each detail of it needs to be controlled and checked. This can be done manually, but it is best to follow an automated system to save time, and, in some cases, to remove human error. Constant Innovation – You need to become obsessed with detail and focus. Only by doing so, can you ultimately be the best in the market. If you are trying to go forward doing things that you did, even as little as five years ago, you may well be working with obsolete methods and processes that could put you out of the market altogether!
The saying the Devil is in the detail really says it all! The question is – are you willing to leave things to chance and overlook the details? If you do, then don’t start crying when things ultimately go wrong. I sincerely believe that there isn’t any area of our lives that cannot benefit from paying attention to detail. In fact, I have found that the more you do – the more you win!