It’s about execution, it’s about grit. It’s about core competencies. It’s about people. Operational Excellence is the result of executing our regular day-to-day activities in a way that ensures the expected consistency, usually high quality, of the delivered products and services. Although it may sound easy to achieve – abundance of technology, knowledge, resources – it is a difficult objective to reach specially in a VUCA world.
I was born in an era in which we had daily deliveries of milk, newspaper and bread. Mr. Domingo, the delivery man, left the goods by our doorstep seven days a week usually before 5:30 and never later than 5:45 am. To do so, he had to pick up the goods from three different suppliers – dairy, newspaper distributor and bakery – no later than 4:30 AM. I can only imagine he left his home every day before 3:30AM. The very few days Mr. Domingo didn’t make it – I don’t recall one in which he didn’t deliver at least one of the ‘promised goods’ – it sent our early morning activities into disarray. No milk or bread for breakfast, no newspaper for the grownups – we had no CNN back then – some ‘little chaos’ in our lives.
Mr. Domingo did his best to ensure certainty into our family. He was acting under operational excellence principles. His job, under millennial standards, was probably ‘boring’. By my own standards, it was magic. Nothing in his job can be considered hip, mentally challenging, creative, strategic, progressive or anything of the sorts. It just had to be done and he did it and did it well and with pride. We could rely on him. Change orders were managed within a 24 hour window with a simple note from my mom – yes, they required a hand written note pinned to our door.