This phrase is one that I use a lot in my consulting work.

I often work with organisations that have an operational challenge of some kind.

Solving the problem is often a case of reinstating lost standards.

So, how can you use this phrase to your advantage?

Don’t keep your eyes and mouth shut

If you see a standard dropping, say something.

Don’t just walk past and ignore it.

See it, say it, sorted. This was the slogan of the British Transport Police at one point in time.

Apparently, it was voted as one of the most annoying slogans but I think we should borrow it!

Save yourself time

Dropping standards is a real cause for concern as a manager.

Poorer standards generally decrease performance. They allow other bad habits to appear in the business.

If this situation grows then don’t just have a headache growing for you, you have tangible business problems.

All the following can lead to increased costs and reduced sales:

  • Missing out steps in the sales order processing activity
  • Skipping the contract review
  • Not checking information before sending instructions to the delivery teams
  • Forgetting about housekeeping
  • Not paying attention to late deliveries from suppliers

And the list goes on. All are avoidable.

Put the brakes on now

If you feel yourself slipping in the direction of lower standards, now is the time to put the brakes on.

Reset the standards. Tell the teams what you want. Come up with ways to help keep on top of the tasks being carried out, without making another job for yourself.

Putting standards back in place is certainly easier than mopping up a crisis (or crises…).

Some ideas for you

Over the last few years, I have written a few books that float around this particular idea.

If you want some tools and techniques to help improve the standards in your business, they are worth checking out.

If you have to rely on a few key team members to save you from disaster, check this one out.
If you need daily checks and balances to keep everything on track, this is for you.
If you want to ask for better results from your team, start with What Does Good Look Like?

The hyperlinks will take you to Amazon, but you can also find the books on Apple Books and other online digital book platforms.

Keep raising those standards and watch as your performance improves.

Giles Johnston
Giles Johnston

Giles is a Chartered Engineer and the author of several books on process improvement including, What Does Good Look Like? and Effective SOPs.