Proud Dad moment this week: my son, James, is officially obsessed with all things Star Wars. Great, I loved watching the originals back in the 70’s and 80’s so I didn’t need any encouragement to dust off the box sets, take a trip to Madame Tussauds to see the real-life droids (and Princess Leia of course), and using the force by ‘elegantly’ waving our lightsabres around the house.
Now, I thought I had a pretty decent knowledge of Star Wars. But there’s a new kid on the block correcting me on the pronunciations of places, quoting countless C-3PO quips, discussing the powers and abilities of the less mainstream characters such as Boba Fett, Count Dooku, Nute Gunray, Lok Durd (yes, I had to Wiki them), and frustrated complaints of: “NOOO daddy, that one’s a TIE Bomber, not a TIE Fighter.”
Did I mention, James is just four.
He’s not a child genius, he’s simply immersed himself in a galaxy far, far away by taking in information and constantly asking questions at every opportunity to make sense of it all, to feed his infinite imagination, and to simply get better and better; from diligently patrolling around LEGOLAND’s Star Wars Model Display through to his stubborn desire of beating his previous score on Star Wars PS Game (there’s one level where he beats me time and time again).
And it’s the same for business.
But what is really important when applying the idea of ‘practice makes perfect’ in a business environment is that you need to be practising ‘perfect’ things. That is why being able to identify what 100% looks like, and amend anything that falls short of that mark is so important, because once you have set up the goals that you are trying to achieve and shared the vision with the people you are trying to achieve it with, you need to make sure the actions are effective. Often the only way to achieve this is trial and error.
When you are developing, systemising and streamlining the processes behind the product that you are delivering to your customers, you are going to make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from the mistake, find a way to remove or manage it, and then (this is the massive learn) ensure that it is highlighted if it happens again. If you do not have alerts in place to tell you that there is a problem in the system, then you will never get your business to a place where it can bring you perfectly executed results.
Right, I’m off to the Star Wars Databank to brush up before Friday!