Working away has its obvious downsides. One of the little upsides is the accumulation of hotel loyalty points … which translate into freebies. So for my birthday Maria and I did the 5 star thing. To complement the accommodation we ate up-market as well; the seafood from the Waterfront was sensational. It got me thinking about quality.

There are two ways that a commitment to quality expresses itself in delivering value at work. One is expressed through another of our participation behaviours.


But I think the more significant way that quality is demonstrated is via a pervasive attitude. It’s not so much about the little things, the extras, the fine tuning: it’s about the overall philosophy. Indeed, the ‘trimmings’ get their meaning from the context and the overarching commitment to a particular way of being.

Quality is about at least substance and design. Neither is sufficient on its own. The best substance can be lost if the presentation doesn’t invite engagement and appreciation. A business development proposal can articulate a great solution, but if it is not presented in a way that is clean and attractive the substance will likely be lost. Clearly, design without substance also doesn’t work … it leaves a hollow sense of unmet expectations.

Quality is one of those contagious things I think. A long time ago in this blog I talked about how our office helped breed an increased commitment to quality. My experience of high quality hospitality on Friday night has helped me lift the bar for myself this week.

Have a look around and see what you can plug into to lift the bar for yourself. Ponder the design of your Mac, take in the architectural genius of the surrounding buildings, listen to an inspiring speech from TED, or smell a rose. And be inspired.