24 May The Essential Role of Standards in Business
We Can’t Fly Without Wings, You Can’t Succeed in Business Without Standards
There are many fascinating parallels between aviation and the world of business. Not everyone can fly jets, but we can all take on the Fighter Pilot mindset. In this week’s article, we’ll dive deep into the unassuming wings—those unsung heroes that hold incredible significance and strength, and play a vital role in our relentless pursuit of excellence. Just like pilots rely on their wings to take on the skies, we too depend on our standards, processes, and culture to navigate the unpredictable challenges of business.
Trusting in the Power of Our Wings
When you see a jet, your eyes are drawn to three remarkable features: the cockpit, the fuselage, and the unassuming wings. Those wings, often overlooked and underappreciated, play an indispensable role in the realm of flight. Without them, we couldn’t even leave the ground. We know their value and so we invest in their strength, for they keep us airborne and they’re our anchors in times of turbulence.
The wings of a jet mirror the standards we establish in our business: the processes and culture we cultivate, the training we undergo to meet those standards, and the systems we rely on to access them. Embracing a high-performance mindset enables us to place our trust in these wings, the unwavering certainty of our standards, allowing us to conquer the uncertainties that lie ahead.
By having such trusty devices, we free up space in our minds to focus on our goals and plans. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s essential to embrace the power of our wings—the well-defined standards we’ve established in business. When we trust in our collective knowledge and expertise, it enables us to navigate the complexities of our work without hesitation.
Aligning Organisational and Personal Standards
To understand the optimal way for a company to build and use standards, let’s make a few important distinctions. First off, there are organisational standards that require some good old-fashioned memorisation. Training also plays a pivotal role in ingraining these standards. It’s through training that habits are formed, and these new habits pave the way for new behaviours. In a rapidly changing world like ours, this continuous adaptation is absolutely essential.
Organisational standards and knowledge can be accessed on the fly, as long as there’s a quick and efficient means to retrieve this information. This encompasses a vast array of lessons learned and situational awareness that our company has accumulated over time. Having this wealth of knowledge at our fingertips allows us to stay agile and make informed decisions, quickly.
Sperate to organisational standards, we also have our own personal standards—those unique habits and techniques that we individually rely on. It’s crucial to ensure that our personal standards don’t interfere with the established organisational standards. There needs to be harmony between the two. Ultimately, it’s in the cockpit where everything comes together. The rest of the framework exists solely to support and enhance the pilot’s performance, fostering an environment where high performance can flourish.
Shared Standards Enhance Collaboration
Standards play a pivotal role in ensuring seamless collaboration within a team. When every team member knows and relies on the established process, it eliminates the need for lengthy discussions and reduces two-thirds of the risks associated with any mission. The power of working to standards lies in the confidence it instills in teams when faced with new and unfamiliar situations. When these standards are well-known and ingrained throughout an organisation, their impact is truly transformative.
They don’t have to be overly complex; their strength comes from the unwavering trust and reliance placed upon them, regardless of the circumstances. As Fighter Pilots, our shared standards enable us to seamlessly integrate with pilots from other squadrons, bases, and even different Air Forces, if the need arises. We can entrust our lives to them because we know they uphold the same high standards.
While this level of commitment to standards may not be as evident in the business world as it is in the military, it only amplifies its power when implemented. It becomes a competitive advantage that can be leveraged every single day in any business setting. By “following the bouncing ball” and adhering to established procedures in our day-to-day operations, we significantly enhance the chances of achieving quality innovation and meaningful engagement within our teams. It creates an environment where individuals can thrive, confident in the knowledge that they are working within a framework of excellence.
Soaring on the Wings of Standards
Just as the wings of a jet let us fly, our standards in business provide the necessary foundation for success. Trusting in these standards allows us to navigate the unpredictable challenges of the business world with confidence. Organisational standards, coupled with training and continuous adaptation, ensure that we have the knowledge and expertise to make informed decisions quickly. Working to establish standards creates seamless collaboration within teams, reducing risks and instilling confidence in the face of unfamiliar situations. By flying with our trusty wings and standards, we create an environment where everyone can thrive, confident in the shared standards by all.