I have just started this book, but I thought I would share a few initial tidbits. The book is called Six Disciplines for Excellence: Building Small Businesses that Learn, Lead and Last by Gary Harpst.
There’s a quote at the beginning of Chapter one that I really like:
“Excellence, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder...If you’re serious about pursuing excellence, you must decide what excellence means for you organization.”
This is a great point. As managers and leaders we should understand what we, our peers, or managers and others think excellence looks like. We need to calibrate our hopes and expectations.
How would you define excellence?
For your job ____________.
For your team ___________.
For internal suppliers ______.
For the company _________.
The quote goes on to say:
“You also need to be prepared to have your definition change because as you learn and grow, your expectations with change as well.”
Hmmm that’s an interesting point. I think some aspects of my view have changed and others have remained constant. As I said, I am just getting into the book, but it looks interesting. I will share more later. Harpst says the book is focused 20% on principles and 80% on implementation and designed specifically for small businesses.
Here's the "press release" version of the goals and benefits of the book:
Harpst's new book "Six Disciplines for Excellence" unveils a systematic and practical methodology that small businesses can adopt:
• To help their employees execute more consistently toward their company’s strategy,
• To stay aligned with the organization's goals
• To continually improve business processes -- with the goal of achieving lasting excellence.
If the book can deliver on just a portion of this it will be a great addition to your management library. One thing I like about this book and am seeing in more and more books - short chapters. With today’s rush-rush life, it is nice to be able to digest books in smaller chunks. I will be doing the 2 Weeks to a Breakthrough book in many smaller chapters too.