I’m sitting in my brand new home in Boston staring at walls covered in blue tape indicating areas needing to be redone (some for the third and fourth time) and a punch list that’s over four pages long. I should be happy right now and singing the praises of my builder and his team. Instead, I’m filled with frustration, anger and sometimes sadness, all because of failure work.
I’ve done enough renovations to know that things don’t always go according to plan. I also know when the person “doing these things” is looking to do what’s in his best interest (also known as saving money) rather than mine. He may have saved a few dollars here and there, but I can assure you he’s spent way more to correct all those items that should have been done right the first time around. Here’s what else happens when failure work becomes the norm rather than the exception.
Loss of goodwill
It’s almost impossible to rebuild trust once it is broken. My builder has assured me a dozen times that he wants to do right by me; except his actions don’t match his words. If you want to do right by someone, you do things right the first time.
Loss of reputation
How’s your reputation these days? There are no secrets today in any organization. One click to Yelp, Glassdoor, or Google will tell you just about everything you need to know about someone you are considering doing business with or working for. Reputation matters, especially when you are looking to take your business to the next level.
Loss of opportunity
It’s hard to take on new clients or move on to the next project when you are back in the trenches fixing problems that should never even have occurred. Doing so sucks the life out of you and prevents you from presenting your best self to the next prospect. Think about this the next time you attempt to cut corners.
Loss of your mind
It’s hard to keep a clear head when you are constantly trying to keep all of your failure work straight. Imagine the peace of mind you would have if you slowed down and did things right. You would then no longer need to think about how you were going to fix all your mistakes. You could stay in the moment and be at peace.
Loss of customers
We all know that it costs significantly less to retain customers than it does to secure customers. Companies that are constantly rectifying issues are much more at risk for losing customers than those who deliver quality products and services on a consistent basis.
When a failure happens, many people suddenly get involved in solving it. Meetings are held, overtime is worked, subcontractors are brought-in, engineers investigate, and additional items are purchased to get back in operation. All resources are spent on fixing the situation, which leaves fewer resources for taking on new opportunities. The losses grow proportionally larger the longer the repair takes or the greater the consequences of the failure. The biggest problem with lost opportunity is that it can never be recovered.
As you look around your organization, pay close attention to those areas where failure work appears to be the norm rather than the exception. Closely examine your processes and your people, and take immediate steps to make course corrections, before you no longer have a business to correct.