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Attention-to-Detail Skills with Henry Lopez.

Attention-to-Detail Skills: How and why you and your team should develop your attention to detail skills with host Henry Lopez.  Henry shares his thoughts, opinions and experiences related to improving your “Attention to Detail” skills, and helping your team improve their attention to detail as well. Strong attention to detail is critical to becoming a successful small business owner and operating a successful company.

Why does Attention to Detail matter?

  • Attention to detail is an important skill for small business owners to develop that will help you grow a successful small business. A lack of attention to detail can result in mistakes, errors, and oversights that can lead to lost revenue, unhappy customers or clients, and damage to your company’s reputation. Paying attention to details can also help a small business owner identify new opportunities and make more informed decisions. Overall, attention to detail can help a small business owner run a more efficient and effective operation, which can ultimately lead to greater success.
  • When we pay attention to the details that matter, we deliver a higher quality solution and experience that can command a premium in the marketplace, we minimize our expenses though productivity and efficiency improvements, resulting in a more profitable and valuable business.
  • We must be careful, however, not to confuse this attention to detail with perfectionism. It’s about doing the right things right, and not trying to do everything “right”.
  • For employees, being detail-oriented is a skill you can include on a resume that tells employers that you pay attention to details, notice small mistakes, and are able to deliver high quality, accurate work. It’s a soft skill that means you can learn new job responsibilities and carefully perform them to completion. As business owners, we should help our staff develop these skills. It’s a worthwhile investment in our people with benefits for our business while they are with us.

A lack of attention to detail can result in:

  • Costly and time-wasting mistakes, errors, and oversights that can lead to lost revenue and reduced profitability.
  • Lost Customers/Clients/Patients for our small business, firm or practice.
  • A negative impact on your reputation and value of your company brand.
  • Missed opportunities in sales, other business opportunities, and innovation.
  • Non-compliance with laws and regulations which may create a liability exposure for you and your small business.
  • Potential injuries to both staff and customers.
  • For some small businesses attention to detail is crucial for safety, accuracy and quality. In healthcare, for example, attention to detail can mean the difference between life and death. In construction, attention to detail can prevent accidents and ensure that a building is safe and structurally sound and completed to a customer’s exacting specifications.
  • Attention to detail refers to your, and your team’s, ability to produce error-free work.

What causes poor attention to detail?

  • People may have poor attention to detail because they struggle with focus, organization, planning or memory.
  • Small Business owners and their teams may lack the experience or have not focused on developing this critical skill set.
  • You may not have invested in your own or your staff’s development of this skill.
  • You may not have yet developed and implemented the systems or nurtured a culture that produces and demands attention to details.

What does Attention to Detail involve?

  • Attention to detail skills involve closely reviewing your work, and the work produced by your teams, to identify and correct errors, spot and improve weaknesses and produce a near-perfect end-result when it matters most. Attention-to-detail means thoroughly completing work with accuracy, producing consistent high-quality, and avoiding sloppy and repeated mistakes.
  • Attention to detail skill also involve Accuracy, Consistency, Meticulousness, Precision, Rigor, Punctuality, Thoroughness and Exactness. If none of these words are used in your business environment, then it may be a clue you have not yet developed the systems or culture required to execute with attention to detail.

Toyota Example:

There is much we can learn from Toyota as it relates to quality and the value of attention to detail. Toyota arguably produced some of the highest quality vehicles in the world – vehicles that are reliable and have overall lower cost of ownership in part because they are shipped with less defects.

Toyota has implemented several quality control measures in its manufacturing process to ensure that its vehicles are of the highest quality. They have implemented a set of principles and practices that focus on eliminating waste, improving efficiency, and increasing productivity.

One of the key elements is the use of “Just-in-Time” (JIT) manufacturing, which ensures that the necessary parts and materials are delivered to the assembly line in small quantities just as they are needed. This helps to minimize the amount of inventory that needs to be stored on site – and the related costs – but also creates flexibility.

Another important aspect of their manufacturing process, and attention to detail, is the use of “Total Quality Control” (TQC), which is a comprehensive approach to quality control that involves all employees in the identification and elimination of defects. This focus on quality and attention to detail is not just what they do consistently – through their systems – but it’s also part of their culture.

Toyota has implemented a “Kaizen” (kai zn) culture, which encourages continuous improvement, where all employees are expected to identify and report any issues they find and to make suggestions for improvements. This fosters a culture of continuous improvement which helps in identifying and eliminating any issues in the manufacturing process.

Toyota also has a stringent inspection process, where every vehicle goes through multiple stages of inspection before getting cleared for delivery. The final inspection is done by a team of highly trained technicians who meticulously check every part and system of the vehicle to ensure that it meets Toyota’s high standards for quality and reliability.

All these practices, along with many others, helps Toyota to ensure quality in their manufacturing process. It’s how they develop and execute their attention to detail skills!

Key Takeaways:

Developing attention to detail skills is important for a variety of reasons. In your small business, it can improve productivity, help to catch mistakes, and lead to higher quality work. It will also help you notice things that you might have otherwise missed and make better decisions and identify new opportunities. It is a skill that can and must be developed – not just for yourself, but also for your team. In addition to developing this skill, you must develop and implement the systems and culture that ensure and value attention to detail for the things that matter.


Books mentioned in this episode:
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Other Related Podcast Episodes:

Episode 461: Chris Denny – Attention to Detail

Episode 026: Delegation

Episode 355: Four Reasons to Delegate

Episode 391: Audrey Holst – Overcoming Perfectionism

You can find other episodes of The How of Business podcast, the best small business podcast, on our Archives page.

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