One of the principal intentions of building our entrepreneurial intelligence is to ensure that we are doing 90% of the “right stuff” whilst building, driving and growing our businesses. Within a turbulent and ever changing business environment a 90% success rate sounds high, and it is! Not all businesses attain this high level but even for those who do this also means that there is a 10% disaster rate somewhere in the business. Perfectionist thinkers might struggle with this ratio and it is important to remember that perfectionist thinking and entrepreneurial thinking can be fundamentally different. In business building perfectionist thinking can function to limit our results, unintentionally, by design. This is a business scenario that the EnQ Rhino and Fish eagle species of entrepreneur often creates unintentionally and unknowingly. (To check for these EnQ species tendencies please go to http://enqpractice.com/assessment/for the free EnQ assessment).
The most constructive approach we can make to the 90%: 10% Success: Disaster ratio as business owners is to consciously select which 10% of our business performance we can allow to be a disaster, without taking the rest down with it, or adversely affecting our successful 90% by focusing too much on trying to fix the disastrous 10%.
A case-study as an example:
A software company design and market a product that 90% of their clients use successfully. The 90% success rate is measured frequently and endures over a sustained period of time but 10% of their users consistently come back with complaints and issues. The company can choose to focus on the unhappy 10% and spend a great deal of their money and time on exhaustive product re-design in search of the perfect product, (progressive upgrades aside). But they also need to be mindful that not everyone is going to use any type of software product successfully regardless of how many changes they might make to their design. By changing a product with a 90% success rate they run the risk of making changes that create issues for a larger % of their client base which will actually lower their success rate. Their better option might be to accept the 10% disaster rate to beyond their immediate control and apportion sufficient funds to the necessary customer care, refunds and sorry gifts in the name of damage control.
EnQ thinking requires that we come to grips with the difference between a normal 90%/10% success ratio and a legitimate and fixable problem with our service or product. If we are not able to make this very important distinction we run the risk of wasting significant funding or losing significant clients in the misguided pursuit of perfection.
The same distinction can be applied to our staff engagement and performance, our client accumulation and retention and our business structures and systems as well as our products. Actively pursuing a higher success ratio of 90% can lean towards the perfectionist / EnQ rhino /fish eagle manner of business building which tends to occupy too much of the business owners headspace. As a business leader our headspace is our most precious resource and it’s just not worth wasting in the pursuit of perfect to the detriment of profitable.