“The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.”

Have you heard this quote before?

It is a great one to bear in mind when you are walking around your business. We’re all busy and the temptation to keep walking once you see something that isn’t right is often too high.

But what happens in each scenario?

If you keep walking, you send a message. The message is that the standard you have observed is acceptable. If it goes unchallenged for too long, it becomes normal. When it is normal, that’s your culture.

If you stop, you need to have a conversation. Sometimes these kinds of conversations can feel awkward, but when you focus on the standard in question, you can make it less about the person you’re talking too and more about what is going on. The behaviour can change, the standard gets preserved and you eventually end up with the right culture.

It isn’t much too ask, or do. But it is something that too many people won’t do.

I wrote a book a few years ago about steering your organisation away from these kinds of situations. It is called Losing the Cape and if you recognise your business from this blog post, then you’ll probably get a great deal of value from the book.

Available from Amazon and iBooks

If you want to stop accepting what is going on around you, and you want to reset your standards, imprint this quote onto your brain.

“The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.”

Chief of the Army, Lieutenant-General David Morrison

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.