In business, you have to realize you cannot control everything. You cannot control your employees, suppliers or customers for example. All you can do is put the culture, systems and processes in place to attempt to guide things to your chosen destination.

Most businesses are actually organized chaos. Lots of things going wrong all the time but somehow things generally work out in the end. There is a point of diminishing return for effort invested in perfection (reducing problems to zero). Ideally the system is built to deal with the things that derail and then to get things back on track.

The trick is striking a balance:

  • Control what you can using repeatable systems and processes;
  • Put a system in place to catch and deal with issues, they will happen;
  • Most importantly, know what your product (or service) should look and feel like (your standards) so you know when you are off track; and
  • Never deliver a sub-standard product (or service) to a customer.