The Pantheon in Rome is an ancient structure that displays architectural and engineering excellence. The circular dome consumed over 4,500 metric tons of concrete. The base of the dome is over 20 feet deep, tapering to just under 4 feet to the top around the centre oculus. It is the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. Despite a lack of sophisticated equipment and reinforcing technique two thousand years ago, the Romans definitely have proven to be exceptional, excellent builders. They built a legacy structure that stands the test of time and serves to welcome millions of visitors today.
How do you lead your business to thrive in excellence? There are several areas that you need to pay attention to:
- Value for customers
Customers purchase your products and services because they deliver value. They will continue to buy until another product or service surpasses the value they receive. Amazon Prime is an excellent program. Members get free two-day shipping with no minimum on most orders, unlimited cloud photo storage, unlimited access to songs and movies, and free Kindle ebooks. Excellent companies provide bundles of benefits that their customers can’t resist. Happy customers are loyal and they become evangelists.
- Efficient day-to-day operations
Cumbersome operations are not employee friendly. They are not customer friendly either. When employees struggle to get their work done, there are ripple effects on the customers. For example, heavy paper work demands time and effort from the employees, managers, and others who process them. It robs time away from delivering quality service to the end customers. Excellent companies make work productive. They are persistent in creating an efficient operating model that optimizes resource utilization. Frustrating work dampers morale and initiative.
- Strong leadership
Employees look to their leaders for direction and support. When a situation comes to an impasse, the leader must step up to steer the team through the hurdle. For instance, a non-performing employee refuses to do work. He claims that the information provided by another area is inadequate but fails to specify what the inadequacies are. To move things forward, the manager needs to understand the situation and be decisive on next steps. Otherwise, the delay affects everyone downstream. Excellent companies place strong leaders in critical positions. These leaders are decisive, not timid in making difficult decisions for the benefits of the customers and the company.
- Relentless innovation
Changes in the marketplace are rapidly undermining the business models for incumbent companies. Netflix, Uber, and Airbnb are a few companies that have established more than a toe-hold in traditional industries. They introduce new values to the customers via a participative supplier model that offers more flexibility to the consumption of their services. Customers take advantage of the enhanced value for their money. Excellent companies are bold in making innovative changes by taking calculated risk. Their due diligence helps them to steer away from costly fads, ensuring that the changes bring appealing benefits to the customers.
Excellence requires pushing the envelope to provide exceptional value through creative products and services, new operating models that are efficient, and strong leadership to drive focus and persevere through challenging situations. If the Romans were able to erect such a spectacular structure years ago, we should be more apt to excel given the support from the advanced technologies that are at our disposal.