Roy's Blog

August 7, 2010

Do you want to be perfect or really different?

Linchpin by Seth Godin has this nugget on perfection.

He declares that “...asymptotes are sort of boring” and asserts that successive improvements made in an organization get less and less noticed as they approach the state of perfection.

Makes sense.

The first 50% is noticeable and maybe even the next 25%. But as the improvement process continues over months (and probably years) you will eventually get to the stage where 1% improvements are made and are not noticed.


Who notices 1%? Very few if any. Certainly not enough people to warrant the investment to achieve the 1%.

Seth’s observations have these very specific implications:

1. If you’re not NOTICEABLE you will be IGNORED. Being ignored in a hungry herd of competitors is a deadly place to be. How do you get NOTICED? Make BIG Change in your organization that capture the imagination of your fans.

2. Beware of benchmarking. By its very nature, Benchmarking encourages incremental change over time. Noticeability Factor = LOW; BE DiFFERENT Factor = LOW

3. Focus on creating Remarkable and gaspworthy change that distinguishes your organization from the competitive blur. The quest for Zero Defects is laudable but who notices things that actually work the way they are suppose to?

4. Get more comfortable with making the odd mistake. Seth argues that creating anything remarkable is an art form, and “Art is never defect-free”.
The reality is that organizations will NEVER eradicate mistakes and defects; people and technology aren’t capable of it. So why covet error-free if it is the impossible dream? And no one notices your progress along the way!

5. Put our energy into getting Distinctive, Unique, Remarkable, Unbelievable and Take-their-breath-away stuff “almost right”?.

Appeal to the emotions of your Fans with services and solutions that blow them away. If you do, do you think they will be ok with the odd mistake or error?

Remember: You don’t have to be better, best or perfect but you have to be Incredible and different.

Spend your time seeking noteworthy change rather than increments of improvement.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 8.7.10 at 12:00 pm by Roy Osing
  • Permalink


To share your thoughts, please contact Roy.