EB111 - Zero Defects Attitude © Question:   I think I understand the importance of a Zero Defects attitude.  But how is it connected to ethics?   Is there a practical way to measure the effect of ethics on my business?

Larry:  First, let me briefly restate the concepts and I think you will see that they are directly connected:

1.    A Zero Defects attitude is much more than a concept for eliminating defects in a product or service; it is an attitude of the heart.  Similar to the “pride of workmanship,” it represents a desire to do things right, every time we take action.  It is not an attempt to achieve perfection but a commitment to make each customer’s experience as close to what was promised as possible.

2.    The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “ethics” as the discipline dealing with what is good and bad, and with moral duty and obligation. An “ethic” is a system or guiding philosophy of moral values and principles of conduct.

In other words, a Zero Defects attitude is an ethic, or at the very least a practical application of our ethic(s) about work.  That’s why it's emphasized in all of our courses and why the subtitle of my book is: A Work Ethic for Doing Things Right.

Now to answer your second question.  The most practical way to measure an ethic is to observe the work-behaviors of a person, group, or company, and what impact those behaviors have on keeping the promises that were made to the customers.

When an ethic and the resultant behavior is in conflict with a Zero Defects heart attitude, it can be clearly measured by the time and money that is wasted in repairs, rework, rebuilding morale and damaged relationships, and the loss of good will with our customers.