Friday, March 18, 2011

Consistently Consistent!

Spring is my favorite time of the year! Everything is fresh and new. I look forward to the Masters (golf tournament) - the first major of the year, not only for the golf, but for the scenery. The azaleas will take your breath away! It occurs to me that every year when they show Augusta National the azaleas are just the same. Always beautiful, always blooming, always colorful. They do the same thing every year - they are consistent!

Not a bad quality to have. God started it all. The Bible says He is 'the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow!' He never changes. Been doing it now for a lot of years!

We should be so consistent. After all, what brings us back to the same experiences time after time is the quality of the repeat performance. It is consistently good; their produce is consistently fresh; their service is consistently better; he/she is consistently on time. And so it goes. We subconsciously grade performance on the "sameness" of performance.

Molly and I love a good meal out once in awhile. Neighborhood Services restaurant is one of our favorites because the food is consistently good! The fare may change from night to night but we always know that by going there we can count on a really good meal. Their consistency is predictable.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could ensure that the quality, function, and style of all of our projects would be the same every time we performed? To some extent we can. Consider "standardization." The best way to deliver the same result is with the same labor and materials. We actually create an advantage for ourselves when we use the same trades over and over and over again. Not only do we standardize the performance of the labor (and by relationship get it on a more timely basis!), we standardize the use of the same materials somewhat because craftsmen prefer to work with familiar products. Case in point: this kitchen was built over twenty years ago by the same people that built the next two kitchens. Little time was spent educating the guys on how, and with what to build the next two kitchens because they were familiar with the process. Hence - consistency!

Effort #2 ten years ago: same labor, same basic materials, just a different look.

And finally, effort #3 about five years ago: again, same labor, slightly different materials used in the same way, and yet a separate and distinctive look!

Things that are 'the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow' are in great demand because of their predictability. On your projects you might want to consider finding great talent, working with that talent, and keeping that talent around for the next time so that you can consistently produce predicability!

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