What’s Wrong with Pursuing Excellence?

“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.”
–Voltaire

I’ve been scoffed at by the leaders of “Centers of Excellence.” Been cast aside by those launching “Corporate Excellence” initiatives. I’ve even been called a “heretic” by a senior leader of a [very] well known nuclear institute. But I stand firm: You should NOT be flooding your website, hallways, offices, workstations, or employee inter-office communications with incessant messaging about your pursuit of “Excellence”.

Why Not?

First, it’s been so overused and abused.  Do you want to lead or follow?

Second, it is essentially…undefined.  According to Merriam Webster, “excellence” is defined as, “the quality of being excellent.” It seems to me that when the root of a word must be used within its definition…you haven’t really defined anything. If you want to dig a bit deeper, look up the word, “excellent”. Go ahead. It is defined as, “very good.” Is “very good” good enough for you?

Third, and most importantly, its lack of definition causes confusion. Are you confused by worker apathy to your lofty pursuit of “excellence”? Say it isn’t so! If you want to generate resistance to moving forward, simply create a bit of confusion or lack of clarity (such as using the “e” word). In the infamous words of Austin Powers, “What does it all mean Bazzle?” Psychology is psychology, and a confused mind says… “NO.”

If you want to remain mired in 21st century corporate speak…go ahead.

On the other hand, if you’re truly looking for a breakthrough in performance, I’ve prepared a short video that offers a crystal clear alternative to the confusing messages currently being bantered about by corporate followers with the word “excellence” on their lips. WATCH NOW.

But wait…there’s MORE! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Below the video is a link to tool we have created.  It's called the "Transformation Conversation."  If you really dig in and use it, it will help you understand your WHY, and can set your career and the path of your organization on a trajectory of true breakthrough.  There's a download link just below the video.  ACCESS NOW.

Until next time, I remain

your humble messenger,

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Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)


  1. Andy Euthon
    3 years ago

    Have had that quote on my white board prior to going to my PPI cert class and have passed it on to several since. The corporate HSE VP asked me what it meant when he was doing an audit….that was a long conversation. Loved the article will take the headings off and covertly guide the change

    Andy


  2. Ritu
    3 years ago

    Great ! Very well said. Couldn’t agree more on that the word Excellence- it’s been so overused and abused. Corporate big wigs (if I may say so) often view Pursuing Excellence as a final destination….but seldom any, think of What it is in a true sense? It should be about asking – What can we do today differently, that will make things better for all. It’s high time for all organizational leaders looking for profound and sustainable human performance efforts to find a cure for “being Excellent” illusion. It is undoubtedly a great write up. Thanks for the videos as well!!

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