Keeping up standards
I’ve titled this post “keeping up standards” even though this is exactly what I’ve not been doing. Ages ago I planned to write a post every couple of weeks – or at least monthly. Unfortunately I’ve failed in this aim – not because there hasn’t been a lot to write about: all the changes at Google such as the closing of Google Labs, Google+, changes to Google’s search methods, interface and algorithms; the Online Information Conference I spoke at and the Internet Librarian International conference; the Euro zone crisis; and many other news stories.
I even started a few posts – but never finished them, and my excuse is that paid work has to come before blog posts, and I’ve had more than enough to keep me going since the last post. (Actually it’s been non-stop so I really can’t complain).
What’s prompted this post has been another blog post that set me thinking about how important it is to maintain standards, even in the smallest most trivial areas – such as making a cup of tea.
Keeping up standards is always important – as you want to guarantee the quality of what you produce. With more and more mechanisation this becomes even more important. The old-style tea-lady who would bring around tea or coffee and biscuits has long gone from most businesses. Now, you walk to the dispensing machine and select what you want: cappuccino with extra coffee, tea with double milk (powder) and sugar…
There should be a standard to guarantee the quality of the finished drink. And that brings me to a recent blog post from Neil Infield of the British Library where he describes the British Standard BS 6008 for a cup of tea (See also ISO 3103). I’m not sure that this standard actually relates to tea and coffee machines – but at least it shows that keeping up standards is still important. (Although I don’t think it addresses the detailed minutia of whether your little finger should be pointing out from the handle of the tea cup, or in – and whether a coffee mug is an acceptable receptacle for a good cup of tea?)
One of the ways that businesses stay competitive and remain competitive is by keeping up their standards and continuing to delight their customers. This has to be ongoing – as competitors will continue to try and do the same. Letting your own standards drop or stay static will allow competitors to eventually win out against you.
So keep up standards – and make it your cup of tea to do so.