Module 7 Business Excellence “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle Business Excellence and just to think, it all started with a hamster... Sitting in the boardroom at Disneyland’s International Headquarters is a gold picture frame with the quote “I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that all this started with a mouse” – Walt Disney. This helps keep the day to day running of their business in perspective and encourages the team at all levels to always remember their company’s roots. Mark Mitchell began his entrepreneurial life, aged 8, when his pet hamster gave birth to a litter of seven, absolutely clueless to where they had come from ! This provided a business opportunity not to be missed and within hours they were taken to market (the school playground) and sold to the highest bidders. From that day on, Mark just knew one thing… that lowered lighting and soft music (together with two eager hamsters) would “produce the goods”! “Don’t forget, all this started with a hamster” is a gentle reminder for us too. We never take the success of our business for granted. Business Excellence Questions to Consider What did you find most interesting in watching the story of Mark and the Mitchell Group? How do you look after staff? How could your staff management be improved? What numbers do you manage? What problems are you currently facing? How are you seeking to address those problems? Business Excellence Questions to Consider How hard do you work? Too hard or about right. Do you have an accountability partner? How do they help? What did you think to Mark’s application of his faith in the business? How do you feel about applying a portion of profit to good causes? How do you view Mark’s decision to not work on Sunday’s? Business Excellence Questions to Consider What does success look like? How do you celebrate success? What does ‘business excellence’ convey to you in the context of your own business? How could you improve your customer service? Business Excellence Questions to Consider How do you keep in contact with customers? What are your competitors doing that is causing a problem? What would you like to stop doing? What does your exit strategy look like?