Chasing perfection leads to excellence

There is a college football team which I follow who had an interesting start to this year’s season. They won most of their games; but most were close. They lost a couple games which, in my opinion, they should have won. One game in particular stands out. They were ahead by 2 or 3 points with three or four minutes on the clock. They had success throughout the game running the ball. All they had to do was run the ball, get a couple of first downs and game over. Instead they called a long pass on first down which ended up being incomplete. Now it was going to be hard to pick up a first down by running.


After the loss the head coach announced they were going to simplify their offense. They won the next game. The coach came out again and said they were going to simplify even further. They played the next game and won by over 30 points. The coach has said the main difference was simplifying what they were doing.

Every business process should be held accountable to results

Justifying a pay raise in most organizations is hell. Just to get someone a pay raise equal to a cost of living adjustment is excruciating. The main reason for this is the time served approach of most organizations. Pay raises are not based on value; but, how long the person has been working there. So generally there is a very subjective evaluation and multiple approvals. Don’t even think about getting someone a real raise!! Does any of this make your organization better?

Pay raises should be based on objective increases in value

Is there a more effective and simpler approach? Let’s say we have a CPA firm who just hired a graduate of Accounting. Our goal is for this person to be a senior partner in the future. What all does that person need to learn and do to be a senior partner? They need to pass their CPA exams, learn the values and processes of the firm, develop the ability to work with bigger and more complex clients and be able to bring in new clients. The employee should also be motivated to do their part.


The final list would be extensive and should go into fine detail. It should be documented into a step by step process. Many companies have these training programs to some degree. However, there is always a missing ingredient, the relationship between each step and the value to the company. When this is added there is no longer the need for evaluations or approvals. When the employee completes a step, they are rewarded in the manner specified. The employee is also motivated to complete each step as soon as they are able. The pain goes away, the employee and organization are in sync. Lastly, it is clear to all who is responsible for what part of the process.