Many of us love a good story of a weight loss battle with a happy, skinny ending. I myself have fluctuated most of my life a good 20 pounds (sometimes more). I am eating healthy (for now) and losing weight because I was not happy with the outcome of eating whatever I wanted to excess (I could not button my pants). I said to my daughter after eating a meal of about 4,000 calories, “That’s it! Tomorrow I am in food jail.” She responded, “Why don’t you just eat moderately all the time?” What does she know at 17? After, about a week, I said to my husband, it is not a diet. If I choose to be the weight that I am comfortable with for the rest of my life, I will need to accept that I must consistently make healthy choices and eat appropriate quantities, indefinitely. (I am down 4 pounds and have 10 to go…)
Consistency is a critical ingredient to the success of individuals and organizations, and inconsistency can be one of the greatest enemies to your objectives and goals. Consistency will have a direct impact on many important things including but not limited to:
- Growth (Both for individuals and organizations)
Inconsistency can come in all forms within the organization. Consider a few of the following examples:
Inconsistent in Temperament: This behavior in individuals can be very damaging to their interpersonal relationships and affect their ability to develop trust, be a leader, and manage others, and can hold them back from growing in their career. Being very nice and approachable one day and being harsh and unapproachable the next day is an opportunity for someone to find moderation and consistency which will serve them and those they work with much better.
Inconsistent Quality of Work: As an organization, you will lose credibility and have problems sustaining and growing if you are sometimes excellent and sometimes terrible. Those you serve need to count on the level of service and quality that comes from consistency in the work product. For individuals, it is less valuable to the organization and much more difficult to manage someone who can do something of the highest quality one day and the next time of unacceptable quality. I believe it is better for an organization and for an individual’s professional growth to be “good” all the time, consistently. Even if a person is consistently not good at something, this is something easier to work through than is gross inconsistency. (This concept is not to be confused with mistakes that sometimes happen at the individual level and company level.)
Inconsistently Executed Processes and Procedures: There are hundreds of examples of process and procedures in a restoration company that could be executed inconsistently and may lead to a string of negative outcomes, including but not limited to, ineffectiveness and inefficiency. Inconsistency in process and procedure is a common hallmark when it's new and very common with technology-driven change. A few examples to consider the implications:
- Referral Source: If your company has a procedure to record the referral source of a customer in the job file and it is done inconsistently, reports have no value, good decisions can’t be made, relationship development is severely compromised, the effort of gathering and entering the information on some of the jobs is diminished, etc.
- Job Notes/Pictures/Other: If job files are not maintained consistently up to a certain standard, then the organization can’t utilize them or rely on them for accurate, thorough, and timely information. Subsequently, there can be a tidal wave of inefficiency including the fact that the efforts to document have diminished value or no value. Jobs can’t be moved forward, time is spent on getting and reviewing information, and it affects many roles and responsibilities in the company including the collection of funds.
Here are four tips for managing inconsistency in your organization:
- Give it a name and identify as the root cause when appropriate.
- Use the word “consistently” in departmental objectives and company best practices.
- Make it a competency and evaluate and reward people for consistency.
- Hold people accountable for inconsistency.
Be inspired to be consistent.
“Trust is built on consistency” - Lincoln Chafee
“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, it’s what we do consistently” - Tony Robbins
“We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day” - Richard G. Scott