In the epic mobster film Casino, main character Sam Rothstein—played by Robert Deniro—lays down some profound wisdom on what it takes to manage an organization and keep it functioning at the level of excellence: the small decisions and details are just as important as the large ones. For example, choosing how many blueberries go into the blueberry muffins.
See the point illustrated below.
When we watch the failure of an organization from an objective distance it often seems as if it was one big decision, practice, or value that led to its demise.
But as we experience the mobster wisdom of Sam Rothstein it becomes clear that we have to view every decision, practice, and value in an organization as important, or else its going to start sliding toward mediocrity. And once you hit the base camp of mediocrity, it's a very short trip to the valley of poor.
So what are the creative blueberries you need to count and balance in your work? What are the small decisions, practices, details, and values you need to focus on to make sure the big ones produce lasting excellence?
It may take time to balance the blue berries.
But it's worth the effort.