We’ve won the Canadian Business Excellence Award* for the fourth year in a row! Here is my acceptance speech from the night:
First of all, I’d like to congratulate Quartet’s staff for winning this wonderful award. They’re a hard working, mostly happy bunch of people with a shared interest. We want to build the best company we can for ourselves, our families and our customers. In that order.
It’s a little like those diagrams in an airplane reminding you to put your own mask on before you put your child’s mask on. We can’t take care of our clients if we don’t take care of ourselves first. Maybe a little counterintuitive, but that’s the way we approach things.
I’d also like to congratulate all the other award winners. We’ve seen many of you through the years and have gotten to know a couple of you. We all seem to have our own pathways to excellence and I’ve really enjoyed hearing about yours.
So, I guess we were already pretty good companies, yet we’ve all kept at it. What’s up with that?
Maybe we’re like Eric Clapton who left the Yardbirds for a year to improve his guitar playing. He was already a star, but he took the time to rebuild really ‘Fast Hands’.
Or maybe, even more delusionally, we’re like Tiger Woods who rebuilt his golf swing after he’d already won several majors.
Perhaps we’re all following that vaguely related Canadian axiom that ‘You can’t steer a canoe until it’s moving’. Movement is key and we all know it.
The Japanese even have a catchy word for it ….’Kaizen’ or continuous improvement. The Japanese also have another saying,…..that you’ve probably heard before……… – ‘chiri mo tsumori ba, Yama tow naru ’. …..Even if you gather enough dust eventually it becomes a mountain. Be patient. Keep working.
So, let me push all these metaphors way too far. Here are Quartet’s excellence axioms:
Excellence isn’t a destination. Excellence is a journey.
Enjoy the ride. Be well and Have fun.
*The Canadian Business Excellence Awards for Private Businesses presented by Excellence Canada is a national award administered annually. This special designation recognizes businesses from all industries that demonstrate a strategic approach to successfully improving performance and achieving goals.