Monday, December 7, 2009
According to Isabelle Peuch, founder and creative director of Jamin Puech the Parisian accessories brand (www.jamin-puech.com) people around the world view quality differently. She knows from experience. Their handbags and other accessories are designed in Paris and manufactured in France, India, Vietnam and countries in Africa.
Their bags and accessories are sold in their stores in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Madrid, and London as well as in department stores in major cities.
In a presentation this summer Isabelle talked about their focus on quality and their efforts to insure that their standards were met no matter where the bags (or elements of them) are manufactured. As they expanded they discovered that it wasn’t enough to explain they wanted “highest quality” because that had different meanings depending on the location. Rather than complain when quality wasn’t up to their standards they decided to take another approach. They elected to teach their definition of quality. By providing examples, demonstrating techniques they were able to build a shared definition to insure the quality of their product. Patient and creative.
It’s a lesson for all of us. We may use the same word but the meaning may be different. People see things differently. You have to ask yourself – what’s their understanding? What defines quality? Being on time? Knowing that answers vary is the first step in building a common understanding, a way to work effectively together.