Two recent perspectives on the power of Attention to Detail and Quality.
The Sunday Times yesterday had a profile of Aston Martin and CEO Urlich Bez in which, as an example of Aston Martin’s attention to detail, they reported that the hide for their leather upholstery comes from Scandinavian cows. The cows are kept in fields protected by electric fences rather than barbed wire to avoid potential damage to their skins. Similarly, the cows live in a climate cool enough to minimise insect bites and any consequent blemish. A fantastic example of obsession with detail.
On a similar transportation theme, I attended an IoD meeting last week where the speaker was John Griffin, founder and Chairman of Addison Lee which is the largest minicab firm in London (and Europe) with 2,400 vehicles. Griffin is a very entertaining speaker and the values which he holds are (I’m sure he wouldn’t be offended by the description) essentially good, “old-fashioned” ones. The secret of his success is a focus on quality, not price): Be Better, Do It Right. He talked about the power of steady, incremental improvement, of maintaining work-life balance (don’t be a workaholic), of commitment and taking time to tell people, sincerely, how much you value them. Always tell the truth: don’t say the cab is just round the corner when it’s 20 minutes away.
All in all, it was an entertaining and refreshing evening: no bullshit, just commitment, focus and values.