In my previous blog post I spoke about my involvement in helping children to grow up in a safer and better environment.
In this post I would like to highlight a spin-off from that. I suggest that it is always cheaper to do things correctly and well from the beginning than to handle the consequences of poor quality and corner cutting. It does not matter what area we are looking at, it is the same for personal matters as well as for business matters, and indeed, society matters.
I understand that it is hard to always do it properly from the start, as we find ourselves in positions where we are stressed about completing the task at hand, and resort to doing this by cutting the corners. I understand, but that does not make it any better. We have to stop ourselves as we are about to make that initial mistake and to ask if we are sure about the price we may have to ultimately pay. Often I believe that we do not think ahead to the consequence of having to pay the price in the future. We just hope for the best and wrap up what we are doing as quickly as possible. This is actually risk management, but on a daily basis.
What is “cheaper” ? It is for sure not only money, it is a lot more; it is less time, less effort, less struggle, less worry, less sweat, less stress, and so on.
I, have from time to time found myself in the situation where I have had to pay the price in the end instead of doing things correctly from the beginning, so I know it is hard, but it is however, essential. I have just had such an experience whereby I hastily wrote a text and did not check it well enough before I sent it. That cost me in terms of an explanation and also the worry of misinterpretation. I am sure that you can relate to this and have been there too.
You may also have experienced some of these things happening in your organization:
- It is cheaper to make sure new white board markers are put in the conference room as soon as the old ones are finished, than to let the important visiting customer, discover that there are no or very few pens to write with.
- It is cheaper to clean up around the coffee machine when you spill your drink, than outside visitors having a sloppy experience.
- It is cheaper to make sure you have good quality products, than having to handle the complaints and the reversed logistics for repairs. Ultimately dissatisfied customers are more costly.
- It is cheaper to educate the staff, than having to pay the price for inefficiency, poor quality, and low engagement.
- It is cheaper to have all the details clearly specified on the order, than having the wrong products or number of products delivered, maybe even to the wrong place at the wrong time.
- It is cheaper to pay more money to a partner that you can trust and who supports your business in a good way, than paying less money to one that you have to worry about and who does not support your business in a manner that you like.
Excellent business people have understood this and are not cutting corners, they make sure that they do the right thing from the beginning.
Until next time, look at situations, at work and in your personal life, that you could improve by doing the right thing as the first thing and therefore only needing to do it once.