It’s easy to lose sight of the purpose

Lesson Learned #51

Before this Lessons Learned series, we wrote 52 Maxims. The backstory on 52 Maxims was that we worked for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. for a number of years; during that time were introduced to their concept known as “The Basics” that consisted of 18 fundamentals of service, which they used as daily reminders for their staff. We had our own “Principles” but decided to copy the daily ritual and we changed the name of ours to “Maxims”. We thought we were clever by coming up with 31, so it would be easy to know which maxim would be highlighted any day of any month. Over time, we found the daily review to be too repetitive, so we made it weekly and extended the logic to create 52 maxims, one for each week of the year, which we also thought was pretty clever.

During this same time, The Ritz-Carlton naturally did the opposite. They reduced the number of “The Basics” from 18 to 3 (now known as the “Three Steps of Service”). They realized that it is easier to remember and reinforce a few key concepts, rather than many. Under these three umbrella steps, they can introduce many related sub-ideas without overwhelming their staff. So while it may not be quite as elaborate as our 52 Maxims, “Three Steps” seems a little smarter.