Far from being beneficial, the search for perfection inhibits performance.
Take football, for example. This season’s use of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) to help officiate Premier League games has made the game far less enjoyable to watch. As some faceless official spends five minutes or more working out whether or not a player’s left armpit is or isn’t fractionally offside, players, fans and even the match referee are left to stand around.
Handball, penalty and red card decisions can no longer be left to the referee it seems, even if they were standing just a few yards away from the incident. Instead, we have to go to a team of ref-bots in a room 150 miles away and suffer endless repeats from every conceivable angle. Boot-cam anyone?
The whole process is sucking any sense of joy out of the game. It’s up for debate whether the decisions are any better, but football authorities’ quest for perfect decisions is simply making the game sterile and boring.
Perfectionism has a similar effect on business performance. The desire for a perfect solution, inhibits risk-taking, adds delay and diminishes the energy and enthusiasm required to move things forward. The search for perfection does not lead to excellence, it leads to stasis, inertia and decay.
So, where are you indulging in perfectionism when you should be giving it the red card?
Off The Record: I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect For You) by Grace Jones
I’m not perfect, but I’m perfect for you
I feel right on time
More and more we are together, trying to discover
I see a flicker in your eye
Are you looking for something better?
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© Stuart Cross 2021. All rights reserved.