Coach Don Shula believed in "practice perfection." He often quoted Paul Brown, the legendary coach of the Cleveland Browns, who said, "Football is a game of errors. The team that makes the fewest errors in a game usually wins."
Organizations need to approach the performance of their people with the same kind of attention to quality, but as I travel around looking at organizations, I rarely find this emphasis on "practice perfection." Far more often, companies hire highly competent people, get them started, and then leave them to struggle on their own.
No individual or team can reach "practice perfection" alone. It takes ferocious concentration and unyielding commitment to continuous improvement. That means day-to-day coaching -- setting clear goals, letting people perform, observing, and then praising progress or redirecting efforts.
"Your game is only as
good as your practice."
-Ken Blanchard and Don Shula-