The Broken Windows Theory

Does your family business have “broken windows” in need of repair? In his latest blog video, Wayne explains the importance of this question. Please share your comments below.

Please click here to download the transcript.

  1. Broken windows is all about perception, and we all know that perception is the true reality of other’s beliefs of us. We work hard to do and present the best of what and who we are. Working to maintain that is just like change (a constant). In this busy world, letting little thing go such as the appearance of vehicles, equipment, facilities, etc., sets the perception (their reality) of what others think of us.
    Great topic and reminder!

    • So true, Alan! Excellence and attention to detail are habits, not afterthoughts or “nice to haves.” Thanks!

  2. Well done!

    • Thanks, Harry! As life would have it, after my rant last week we dropped the ball on a couple of details… Keeps us humble and let’s us know we still have work to do!

  3. An indication of this theory is if your project job site signs are perfectly straight or not. And it has to be built into company’s culture.

    • Perfect analogy, Jeryl! Thanks

  4. Very very good !!!!!!!

    • Thank you, Paul.

  5. Hi Wayne,
    thanks for your blog again. There is a balance between paying attention to the little things and not sweating the little things too much. I agree first impressions go a long way in improving your business image and never compromise on quality. But when resources are limited energy tends to be spend on the bigger things only (like the evidently 500$ an hour jobs), The little things do tend to suffer as they never reach highest priority, but they eventually do have a big impact. This can be easily fixed (like a broken window ;o)), so yes: we do need to look at them from time to time and make a spring cleaning and tackle the little things. So I will start scheduling a little time and energy for these small-but-big-impact things too (and add them to my 500$ an hour jobs list). Thanks for the advice.

    • Great comment, Sandra. How does one balance the little things with the admonition to simultaneously focus on the $500 an hour jobs? Excellence is a way of life, not a task. It has to be part of your personal and fambiz culture. It should NOT be your job or the job of any single person. It’s everyone’s job all the time!

  6. Amen Wayne! Some years ago in New York City I came across a large brick wall where someone had spray painted, “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”
    Someone else had then come along and spray painted underneath that, “But, it’s the ‘small stuff’ that makes all the difference!”
    ‘thanks’ for your ongoing wisdom and encouragement.
    Donald Cooper.

    • Thanks for the encouragement!

  7. Great topic, Great presentation, Thank you Wayne. If management/ownership doesn’t take pride in how our workplace looks everyday. why should staff? Who wants to work at a place where no one cares?

    • Agree 110%! Thanks, George.

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