Prologue: The Importance of Perfection
Perfection. Perfection. Perfection. The final ten-letter word in our hero sentence carries an extra special double meaning. When you repeat it multiple times with a lot of emotion, you’ll probably notice the same as I do. Perfection is a cheerfully charming term with multidimensional reach, interesting etymology and gentle yet deep pronunciation, accompanied by strong and even dramatic phonetics that all in one create purpose, message, promise and symbolism smoother than most English words that I, at least, am familiar with.
The term itself originates both from the 12th century French and 13th century Latin and two of the earliest known definitions sum perfection as “consummate state or form, “that degree of excellence which leaves nothing to be desired” or "to accomplish, finish or complete" something. During the 15th and 16th centuries perfection was fairly commonly used as a preliminary concept to describe the elements of "flawlessness”, “correctness” and “purity”. Around the 17th century, perfection was consequently sadly adapted, or rather hijacked, for questionnaire theological mass purposes through religiously motivated definitions, particularly within the Catholic church, like "one who believes moral perfection may be attained in earthly existence” or “one who believes a sinless life is obtainable”. In the 1930s, when we as a company had already been operational for good eight decades, perfection was defined as "one satisfied only with the highest standards”, which, for me, sounds a lot like us today.
This story is all about perfection. And then again, as you’ll soon notice, even more about imperfection.
Chapter I: How we see the concept of perfection much clearer now than we did before
It’s no coincidence, or a careless random decision, of course, that our seven-word hero sentence ends with the very term of perfection. Technical flawlessness, data-driven correctness, purely automated user experiences, the highest levels of excellence, fully completed projects, and increased customer satisfaction obviously are at the very core of our business, culture and strategy.
At some point, we also understood that to achieve true modern-day perfection, the elements of vulnerability, openness, uncertainty, questioning, transparency, corrections and even failure must not be banned, hidden or denied but, on the contrary, accepted, encouraged and embraced. Today we reach perfection in automated customer journey orchestrations through various stages, levels and elements of imperfection. For us, “perfection through imperfection” is a highly functional, reliable and effective business concept of collaboration with our clients, partners and stakeholders that includes research, testing, analyzing and optimizing.
Admitting mistakes and making corrections with transparency should be a sincere part of all modern company cultures
Here comes the confession. As a 160-plus-year-old company, we have not always been fully understanding of imperfection in our own culture. There unquestionably have been times and eras in our past when we have been too impatient and obsessed with the absolute desire for rapid and total perfection and equally too reluctant and unforgiven towards dealing with technical and human errors in both small and large-scale issues throughout our company.
In the past decade or so, we have luckily accepted and welcomed the fact that sometimes, mistakes happen in the business of life. Do we want them or not, the solution is not to forbid or silence those shortcomings but always to learn from them. Analyzing the case, errors, decisions and processes, being open and transparent and then taking required corrective actions effectively and sincerely are the very foundation of our culture.
Chapter II: How we see perfection as an effective concept that Aristotle once created
As we already know, the English term perfection was born out of French and Latin around the 12th century. Still, the basic ideas behind the conceptual thinking of perfection are way older and originate from the ancient Greek, which is generally agreed to be the first Indo-European language with at least 3 400 years of documented written records.
The equivalent Greek term for perfection was “teleos ”aka “completeness”, which, from the very beginning, had more concrete referents such as “perfect musician” or “perfect doctor” than the more abstract Latin and French terms later on. It was the great Greek philosopher, and polymath Aristotle (384–322 BCE) who first came up with this little thing called perfection. After a lengthy creative process and some serious brainstorming and mind mapping with his peers and friends, I am guessing Aristotle ultimately defined three meanings to a core term of perfection:
Which is complete and contains all the requisite parts.
Which is so good that nothing of the kind could be better.
Which has attained its purpose.
It’s an interesting personal observation to make that when I think about Edita Prima’s values, purpose, mission and vision today, they all fit under those three basic categories of perfection that Aristotle created more than 2 500 years ago. The smart, visionary person he was, it seems. But even Aristotle did not think about everything.
There’s a multidimensional correlation between perfection and imperfection that Aristotle too missed
Not surprisingly, the etymology and origin of imperfection are similarly consistent with perfection. It was around the late 14th century Europe, a couple of hundred years after the discovery of the English word perfection, that imperfection was introduced within the Anglo-American cultures and societies across the continent and subsequently around the globe. Early on, the English term imperfection carried pretty much the same meanings we are still familiar with today. "Incompleteness, deficiency, immature, rudimentary, elementary, lack” or "an instance of being imperfect and, of course, under the growing religious influences of different churches and religions, ”sinful”.
It took some time, however, for the human mind, European cultures and global sciences in forms of psychology, sociology and philosophy, not to mention multiple layers of the general concept of consciousness, had developed sophisticated enough for someone to realize that there, indeed, was a functioning relationship and a clear multi-dimensional correlation, the one that even Aristotle probably somehow missed, between the two concepts: Perfection and imperfection.
Chapter III: How we see perfection as the best possible term to end our hero sentence
Let’s recap: This is the fifth and the final part of the “Our Hero Sentence Explained” article series that tells the creative background story behind the most essential sentence of our new brand that was introduced to the public in August of 2021. Personally, it’s been a good ride writing these stories. A welcomed thought process that has given me an excellent opportunity to reflect on my own views and visions of our company’s past, present and future. I undoubtedly have learnt a lot, and I sincerely hope that you have too.
In article #1, titled We and published in December 2021, I took a deeper dive into Edita Prima’s exceptional heritage, sensible working culture and excitingly potential future as one of the oldest tech companies in Europe.
In article #2, titled Orchestrate and published in January 2022, I examined what the term orchestrating means for us as a philosophical concept to master our expertise.
In article #3, titled Automated and published in March 2022, I took a closer look to explain why the term automated is undeniably crucial in the 2020s in our line of work and explained the innovative processes behind our key service categories that keep on evolving to fulfil rapidly better-altering expectations, needs and demands of our client base and collaborator network.
And in article #4, titled Customer Journeys and published in April 2022, I elaborated on the meaning, purpose and benefits of our user-friendly orchestration services and emphasized the importance and effectiveness of breaking longer customer journeys into smaller data-driven microjourneys that help our clients communicate more efficiently. Put all those previous four keywords together, add perfection, and there you have it:
We orchestrate automated customer journeys to perfection.
Chapter IV: How we see perfection as a business tool that helps us reach customer happiness through imperfection
As our hero sentence suggests, Edita Prima is under a steady transformation from analog to digital and towards a more sustainable automated future. In our philosophy, the one that our old friend Aristotle might or might not approve of, we don’t consider imperfection to be a sign of weakness or hesitancy but a proof of wisdom that makes us professionally smarter and more versatile but also more empathetic towards our own staff, partners, stakeholders and clients.
We see imperfection as a creative concept that guides us through the different times, cases, technologies, platforms and projects, expands our overall thinking and encourages us in finding innovative solutions to old and new challenges alike. In an ideal case, perfection and imperfection form a steady state of mind for all of us working in different roles at Edita Prima. Including myself, of course.
What we have learnt in 160+ years: There can be no perfection without imperfection
In a bigger, long-term strategic picture, we see the symbiosis of perfection and imperfection as a unique business tool that keeps us curious enough to be able to adapt to this rapidly changing modern society of constant interactions and technological developments. We feel that allowing thoughts of doubt not only gives us an additional edge, ambition, vision and skills, but it also grants us the freedom to grow, confidence to fail, license to hesitate, and determination to turn obstacles into possibilities.
And perhaps most importantly, the close correlation between perfection and imperfection that Aristotle once missed creates valuable and honest compassion that helps our clients make sense out of chaos through rebellion, kindness and accountability because, according to our philosophy, that’s what this dysfunctional world now needs. I personally, of course, have not been around since 1859, but I am feeling confident enough to say that if more than 160 years of history has taught us something, it’s this:
There can be no perfection without imperfection.
Please also enjoy our film about Imperfection by Edita Prima.
Epilogue: This is part 5/5 of the "Our Hero Sentence Explained" story series. Please see the previous parts below.
Part 1/5: WE
Part 2/5: ORCHESTRATE
Part 3/5: AUTOMATED
Part 4/5: CUSTOMER JOURNEYS