Average and Exceptional

The  Difference  Between  Average  And  Exceptional

The service at a restaurant is only as good as the investment that it’s manager makes in staff training  –  and this can involve investments of both time and money.

Empty RestaurantThe quality of a website’s user experience is a direct reflection of how many hours the developer spends testing and tweaking the website  –  ironing out the ‘bugs’ (or, more to the point, ‘demons’!) that website users don’t want to have to confront.

The hours of research that a journalist conducts before writing even a single word is directly reflected in the pedigree and, at times, genius of the article.

Business owners tend to focus the majority of their time, thinking and resources on the core ‘moment of performance’  –  forgetting that it’s the work that they do leading up to that moment that, at the end of the day, makes all the difference.

In short:

  • it’s the things that business owners do when the customer isn’t looking that creates true moments of delight for their customers / clients; and
  • what differentiates the average from the exceptional is not performance –  it’s preparation.

Case Study

Here’s an example of a business that’s proven itself to be, hands down, the best in the world.

Digressing for a moment, we who have grown up in the State of South Australia know that the name of the multi-coloured little plastic bricks with which we all grew up playing is correctly pronounced “Lay-go”  –  and certainly not “Leg-o” or “Leggo” (as in “Leggos” tomato sauce products)!  Huh, Eastern State infidels!

Anyway, there is no doubt that ‘LEGO’ bricks are the best in the world.  Many competitors have tried to copy them over the years  –  but nothing comes close to a real LEGO brick.

So, what’s their secret?

To make a product that good you need to obsess continually about design, production line and quality control.

That said, what makes LEGO the best in the world is how and where they begin their process.

LEGO design doesn’t begin with the simple or humble plastic brick.  It begins with the people who will actually use and play with it!  Yes, children!

The LEGO designer doesn’t work hard to make “the perfect brick” or “the best brick in the world”.  He or she:

  • obsesses about precisely how it feels to put two bricks together and then to pull them apart –  with five-year-old hands;
  • spends their days understanding exactly how it feels to sit on the floor for hours, making a genius creation that won’t fall to pieces under its own weight when you pick it up; and
  • then designs the product that makes it possible to experience all of those feelings.

The lesson to be learned from the LEGO corporation is that, if you want to be the best in the world, don’t start by trying to create the best product or service  –  start by working out how people want to feel and then help them feel that way!

Peter Kerin

Peter Kerin

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Credit for the above restaurant image goes to photographer Hernán Piñera.