Here’s the thought that popped into my head earlier today: In a values based organization, is it ever acceptable for employees to provide quality that is just good enough?
To find our answer let’s compare Leslie and Angie.
Leslie runs BioTag, a company that manufactures test equipment used in the biotechnology industry. Her company’s values are innovative concepts, reliability, and sustainability. BioTag prides itself in providing cutting edge testing equipment that is 99.99% reliable and accurate.
Angie runs FastCo, a company that manufactures nuts and bolts distributed in outlets and discount stores. Her company’s values are make it good, and make it cheap. FastCo is proud to have distributed billions of nuts and bolts to people who otherwise would have trouble affording them.
So, is just good enough ever good enough? Well, it depends. In Leslie’s company, BioTag, employees have been written up for providing service that is less than stellar; people have been suspended for passing equipment that was borderline through the stringent quality testing process. At BioTag, just good enough is never good enough – it just doesn’t go with their values.
On the other hand, at FastCo, employees are encouraged to save money and become more efficient in every way they can so that costs can be kept down. That means that if one of their screws has a chip, it’s not only alright, it’s expected that it will be packaged and shipped.
So, the answer is, it depends. It depends on the values of the organization. What does your company hold as core values that are important above all else? Those values will determine the answer to whether just good enough is good enough. After all, that’s what having values is all about.