Change your best daily. – P.J. Fleck
If you read this blog with any regularity, you know I talk a lot about continuous improvement. It is a huge theme for us at Southwest Michigan First and of utmost importance for all leaders everywhere to embrace. It is really hard to be great and constantly push the boundaries if you are not measuring yourself against other great companies or leaders and the standards of excellence that have been established. That’s why we participate in different awards competitions and benchmarking surveys – especially in industries outside of our own.
In many industries, standards of excellence either do not exist or are not easily measured, so we can’t hold ourselves up against others like us. In some industries the competition is so fierce that organizations simply won’t share their data or perhaps every company quantifies data according to different measures making it impossible to compare. Instead of getting caught up in the fact that we can’t measure ourselves perfectly against other economic development organizations, we choose to measure ourselves against the best businesses in the nation, the fastest growing churches or the top universities.
Regardless of industry or sector, we know we have to operate using the best practices and the best tools available that address, what we believe is, the greatest social problem of unemployment. By participating in programs that measure the best places to work, organizational wellness or team engagement, it gives us measures to improve upon, but it also tells us what the very best are doing. Then, we can look at those things and embrace them in our organization or innovate to make them work for us.
Because we believe in this process so deeply, we are hosting the CEO of the 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For, Jennifer Kluge, on Tuesday, September 29 in Kalamazoo at Catalyst University unCensored. This event is an open invitation to any company or leader looking to improve their best every day, and for those of you local to Southwest Michigan, I sincerely hope you’re able to join us.
The best organizations in the country are saying: if it’s important, we will measure it. If we measure it, we’ll put the resources behind it to be successful. If we’re successful in these areas, we know we’ll achieve our goals. When participating in awards competitions, our purpose is to hold ourselves accountable to the best practices and the best standards that all industries put forward, and ultimately, to be the very best at what we do.
Question: How are you measuring your organizational standards of excellence against others who are leading across diverse industries?