Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Good Service, Pt. III: How to Steal At Work?

Good domestic workers copy, but great domestic workers steal.  - An idea paraphrased and stolen from Pablo Picasso

What good service is continues to excite us here at The Citizen, because as we all know, deep down inside, it doesn't really matter what we think service is... it really only matters what those who we serve, do.

So, how do we get there? When we do find something that seems to make sense to us... what do we then... do with it?  

Why, of course... the answer has always been... and Picasso always knew.... to steal it.

To steal an idea is to take something of value and make it yours. - Pablo Picasso

No nanny-cam will be needed here to check in on your progress, because if you pull this caper off the right way, it'll be right out there's in the open for everyone to see. We now explore the "best answer on Yahoo" about what Picasso really meant with his most infamous of famous quotes, an articulation of this concept better than we at The Citizen ever could ~ so, there's no shame for us in the outright stealing, editing, owning, and pasting it right here.

He appreciated greatness... 
especially your own version... at your estate.

Picasso meant that every [domestic worker] is influenced by what has been done before their time. If not by direct exposure, the information the [domestic worker] is exposed to through other people, media, etc. influences them. We are all a product of our times and have the benefit of those who have walked similar paths we are now on.  

[All domestic workers] borrow because it has all been done before and we are not the originators. To merely copy is to take an existing interpretation and not run away with it. To steal an idea is to take something of value and make it yours. To make [a service] element yours, you have to interpret it your way with your own approach

This cannot be done when you are merely copying the idea. When copying the idea you are just doing everything exactly like it was previously done. When you have done it your way you have used the element and not simply duplicated it.

It is not required that you advance the element. You can go sideways and even backwards with the idea and you can be stealing the element and not copying it. On the contrary, when merely copying the element you have failed if you do not match the original. 

As a domestic staff estate team member in one of the finest domestic estates, you are thus entitled - just this once - to steal. In fact, as we have now understood, if you do not steal and take ownership of your newly improved service delivery, yet only copy other service providers who have come before you, you will have failed. 

Counter-intuitive to what we often think of as learned best-practices being performed by the numbers, who can ever forget that Oscar Wilde's advice, talent borrows, genius steals was not lost on Picasso, nor, much closer to both home and today with Stanford's professor of organizational behavior Bob Sutton, who opens our eyes to the birthing of all creativity as being that of import/export, the taking others' ideas, editing them to suit the needs of the context and taking real ownership to create the next big thing. Even if it's for a little thing. 

Stealing? Yes, one could say.

So, then, instead of simply copying and emulating a domestic service trainer or mentor, perhaps it's best for us to take all that we have learned throughout our domestic service careers from previous job experiences, managers, coaches, colleagues (and yes, subordinates, too) about making every minute of our employer's day special like no other day before... and really run with it... even if we didn't invent the concept of great domestic service itself. We make it make sense to us ~ and then take the responsibility for it. And then make the extra effort to edit it, to delete it, to improve it... to make it work for providing the greatest service in the world for our own, unique Principals...

and then we will have truly owned  ~ good service.