In preparation for a briefing with BSeC ’09 keynoter Lior Arussy next week, I’ve just finished reading his book, Excellence Every Day.
While Information Today, Inc., is the publisher, I like to take pride in my objectiveness as a journalist. So I kid you not when I say, I found it both timely and inspirational, with a distinct ring of truth and a message that can only help us emerge from economic crisis better off than we were before.
From Lior’s point of view, excellence is not about a moment of stardom or public acclaim. Excellence is its own objective and its own reward. And the potential to achieve excellence exists in every moment, for each of us and every one of our employees.
What is excellence? It’s stepping outside the processes that make our companies so efficient and allowing our employees to provide that all important human touch in their dealings with customers and each other.
It’s about creating a work environment where our people can achieve their human potential and our companies, their best destinies.
It’s a credo that Lior’s own company, Strativity Group, lives by.
So far, every encounter I have had with his office has been remarkable. We nailed down his speaking engagement in a single afternoon, rather than taking days or even weeks, as is so often the case to close these deals.
When Lior couldn’t make a meeting we had scheduled in New York due to a travel delay, his assistant was all over it, and again within minutes we had a rain date.
People who go out of their way . . . small acts that leave a big impression. How would you like to be treated?
In the book Lior tells a lot of stories to illustrate his point.
My personal favorite is the one about the Virgin Airlines flight attendant who, when the in-flight entertainment system failed, decided on her own to give all passengers a choice of duty-free merchandise or 10,000 frequent flier points: Service beyond the call of duty. Service outside the regulation manual. Service that delighted customers and took the heat off the complaint desk staff (saving 25 pounds sterling a call). When excellence prevails, everybody wins.
Lior tells us to empower our staff to do the right thing when the moment for truth presents itself.
Though it may be a dark time, Excellence Every Day gave me a lot of hope. I immediately applied some tips from it in dealing with my staff (my own customers) and I’m now on the look-out for random acts of excellence to encourage and reward.
In addition to hearing how this approach can aid information companies through their current challenges, all those attending BSeC ’09 will get a copy of Excellence Every Day. If you can’t make it to the conference this year or want to read the work in advance, click here to order. IMHE, It’s well-worth the read, and I’m not saying that just because we are the publishers.