“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardy Jr.
Our world is changing rapidly. These exponential changes are being driven by shifts and advances in technology, demographics, globalization, and social values, just to name a few. These numerous shifts also mean we need to redefine excellence for today’s world.
Many bright minds have thought about excellence. As Vince Lombardi said in the above quote, excellence is not perfection. Instead, excellence is a journey through an ever-changing landscape of possibilities and opportunities. Excellence is based on reality, producing the best result under given circumstances. Excellence can be achieved. And it can happen within any given timeframe.
“Excellence is not a long-term aspiration. Excellence is the next five minutes.” – Tom Peters
Thirty years ago, Tom Peters published the influential business book “In Search of Excellence.” In it, he defined eight characteristics of excellent companies:
- a bias for action
- staying close to the customer
- autonomy and entrepreneurship
- productivity through people
- clear and compelling organizational values
- focusing on what you do best
- operating with a lean staff
- finding a balance between having enough structure and getting stuck.
These principles are still valuable today. However, think about the change we’ve experienced in the last 30 years: the computer and smartphone revolutions, globalization on a massive scale. In fact, forget all that. If the Cubs can win the World Series, we need to redefine excellence. Excellence today is more than a set of principles. It’s a set of beliefs, specific ways of thinking, ways of focusing and being disciplined.
“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and everyone should really be excellent. Because this is our life.” – Peter Drucker
Excellence starts with a vision, a purpose relentlessly driving us to an end goal. This vision should be simple and illuminated by positive imagery. Excellence means accepting only the best and only asking the best questions, surrounding yourself with the best people, being excellent in every interaction and engagement. It requires mental readiness, a focused, positive state carried into learning and performance situations.
In today’s hyper-fast world, excellence requires building flexible, agile and focused organizations, fueled by crystal-clear goals, laser-focus and a connected workforce.
Are you ready to join the race to excellence? Then, join us at THINK 18, the premier credit union innovation conference, May 7 to 10, 2018, at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Arizona. This year’s theme, “The Race to Excellence,” will fuel an action-packed four days of all-star keynotes, lively dialogue and debate, and collaborative strategizing in an unparalleled setting of natural beauty.
At THINK 18 you’ll hear from thought leaders and visionaries, network with more than 700 credit union executives, and participate in hands-on workshops and one-on-one advisory sessions with subject matter experts. Learn about the latest CO-OP solutions and hear what is on our strategic roadmap. Gain new perspectives and recharge for the fast ride ahead.
Last but not least, you will encounter many surprises and unique encounters throughout your THINK experience. But you knew that already.
What are you waiting for?