The Formula for Exceptional Delivery

Don’t let perfection get in the way of good


New managers, as well as experienced ones, often get stuck on the hamster wheel of wanting to deliver exceptional service and products every time. This is an admirable trait, albeit one that is usually impossible to maintain. It is exhausting and often a great waste of your resources.

Here’s the thing. Exceptional services or products are measured by the receiver and not the giver. You and your team may dedicate many additional hours on perfecting a service and product, to then hand it over and the receiver who dismisses it with a “thank you, I’ll get to it later.” Your belief is that you went the extra mile to deliver and so it must be an exceptional engagement. If the receiver doesn’t believe that to be the case then sadly the service is “as expected” delivery and not exceptional.

When you deliver a service or product repeatedly at an exceptional level, very quickly the exceptional level becomes the norm, the expected. And so it’s back onto the hamster wheel, start running very quickly to think how you raise the bar again, and again, and again. Always striving for perfection and exceptional.


THe HPO Formula for Exceptional Delivery

When considering if it task requires exceptional delivery or not.  A very simple formula will assist you with this,

High Performance Outcomes = Value Add + Positive Impact. ©


High Performance Outcomes (HPO)

A high-performance outcome does not have to equate to hard slog. High performance outcomes are derived by doing something different. That may include considering the approach and outcome differently; it may be that you increase the physical side by working faster, harder and possibly with additional resources. My own personal preferred HPO is working smarter, and this is generally through a better thought out approach and planning.


Value Add (VA)

Value add is tangible; it is based on a proven measurable. Often this is measured against contracts and SLAs. A value add may be perceived as delivery under budget, time savings, giving more, etc.

For VA to work, you must ensure you find out what value add means to the other party.

On a recent coaching session, my coachee could not work out why the other party wasn’t over the moon when he had saved them £30,000.   Drilling down on this, it became very apparent that £30,000 was a drop in the ocean to the other party and therefore did not register as a noteworthy outcome. Point to note, my coachee felt that he had put everything into making the savings of £30,000 and that he deserved recognition which he didn’t receive.  Why would he receive any recognition for the extra work, as far as the receiver was concerned, he received what he asked for.

I worked closely with a HR Manager who amongst other measurements was consistently measured on attendance numbers, the average being 60%.  Working with her, we raised the bar to average of 96%.  We achieved this through a more effective Learning Needs Analysis and administration process. Measurable results.


Positive Impact (PI)

Positive impact equates to the receiver’s emotions. PI is all about the receiver. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to focus on the individual’s wants, wishes and ego. What level of happiness or satisfaction will the individual gain from the HPO? The PI can often be deduced from conversations with the other party. You may hear statements such as “the finance director is putting pressure on me for budget cuts”,“it would be great to land this earlier, as I’m on holiday during the completion stage”, “this project will stand me in good stead for promotion” and so forth. Often these statements do not reflect directly on your delivery.

Working with the above HR Manager above she often mentioned that staff churn was a problem.   Although the focus of our programme was not directly associated with staff turnover we were able to show that the guests on the programme remained within the business on average 2.5 years longer than their peers who did not attend the 3:2 Management Development Programme.  This boosted the HR Manger’s confidence in her choice of supplier, and it was a personal gain due to the great marketing she received as a direct result.


Look out for…

High Performance Outcomes will simply not work if the focus is purely on value add.

If the focus is purely on positive impact you will get a greater response.

High performance outcomes are at their most effective when Value Add + Positive Impact is delivered.