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Quality and Perfectionism


Robby

If I were to be entirely honest, I would say I am a “recovering perfectionist.” Once you have the idea of what it means for something to be flawless, it’s very difficult to accept anything less in the future.

However, there is much more value in abandoning the idea of perfect work in favor of doing quality work. Perfection simply means without error; where as quality is about finding and fixing mistakes. A perfect person can’t do anything wrong. But a quality person is ready and willing to experiment, to make messes and to clean them up.

That’s why I love the classic 1989 book Quality is Free (affiliate link) by Philip Crosby. He explains that we must change our culture so that we accept that defects are part of the process, not something that we should ignore.

It doesn’t cost anything to be constantly improving, hence the title of the book. If quality is free, then perfectionism—the opposite—is completely unaffordable. You can never have enough resources to pay for perfection. You can only do what actually matters: quality work.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Fri, June 10 2011 » Change Managment and Learning Organization, Corporate Culture, Success Consciousness, Time Management

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