Written by: Uli Guertin, National Quality Manager – a member of GeoVerra’s Operational Excellence team
Edmonton, AB (May 27, 2022) – “Pay attention to what you’re paying attention to.” ~ Howard Rheingold
What does business excellence mean? Strong financial performance? Satisfied customers? Happy employees? Yes, yes, and yes. While each one of those is important for understanding a company’s health, focusing on any one metric alone can mean we sacrifice other important aspects of excellence.
Why Balance is Important
An ecosystem is defined as a system or network of interconnecting and interacting parts. In other words, a business is an ecosystem, and within an ecosystem, balance – the equilibrium between all system parts – is key as it ensures the stability of the environment.
When an organization only focuses on financial metrics (or one part of the system) that myopic lens does not allow for a balanced and more nuanced definition of success. It’s not keeping an eye on if the team is engaged, enthusiastic, communicating well, and striving towards a shared future. In other words – if solely focused on one aspect of the business, other important elements could be missed.
How does GeoVerra ensure we take a balanced approach? By viewing success through the lens of our values (teamwork, working safety, entrepreneurial spirit, client focus, and work ethic) and incorporating those values in our strategic plans.
The GeoVerra strategy framework helps ensure that as we search for excellence, we are not taking a one-sided approach. When the leadership team meets regularly to review progress against those plans, discussions include a mix of topics, including finances, safety, processes, and company culture.
What Does Excellence Mean to You And Your Team?
This talk of strategic plans is all very well and good, but what does having a balanced view look like for you or your team?
If project excellence is only a measure of the financial success of the project, you may be missing the mark on client satisfaction. If adherence to schedule, above all else, is the definition, then you may be sacrificing quality. If the only metric is client satisfaction, your team morale could be suffering due to extended periods of long hours.
A better, and admittedly more difficult, approach would be to strive for a balance between those metrics.
Are we respectful? Are we effectively communicating? Are we helpful? Are we having fun? Hopefully, the answers are yes, yes, yes, and yes. At GeoVerra, we are truly successful when we proactively offer to assist one another, when we strive to show empathy, and when we connect – virtually or in real life.
Achieving operational excellence is not solely about reaching financial goals. It also means encouraging progress, enthusiasm, alignment with company values, and a willingness to do it all in an environment of inclusivity.
So the question is – what are you paying attention to?