Good Enough…Isn’t

I remember the time when Tom Peters seemed to own the airwaves with his “In Search of Excellence” series of lectures and consulting.  His book by that name extolled the virtues and business acumen of firms like Federal Express with their motto: “When it absolutely positively has to be there overnight!”

As my prior blog on them pointed out, they no longer feel that way.  When I asked the package delivery agent how I could get my wife’s computer to Denver she said I first had to give her the dimensions and weight and would not answer the question when it would arrive until I did.  Little did I know that she was simply following the instructions for the tracking initiation software.

My wife Susan and I lectured using his stories and I recounted my experience at Nordstrom’s with shoe laces in another blog as one more example.  People in the audience laughed until it hurt as we recounted story after story in our own lives of how service excellence made a difference.

The word that seems to have replaced “ownership” of a customer’s situation is “monetization.”   If it is not saving money or making money it is discretionary.  Sure, airlines like Southwest seem to be getting away with this, but I suspect they can easily be disrupted by better value and service.  I know from our staff that they no longer buy the cheapest seats on their airline tickets because flexibility has value.

It is interesting to contrast this with things people do seem to care about.  The recent win of Tiger Woods is all the rage for golfers.  I don’t follow sports but I am sure each has its passionate followers of this or that team.  Does it make any sense to talk about “good enough” in these areas?  Good enough relegates you to a position pretty far back in the pack.

Nope, I still maintain good enough simply isn’t.


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