Business and Organizations alike can often feel the press of needing to raise the bar as they provide goods as services. It always feels urgent. Soon after a long winded discussion, the urgency abates and everything is "back to normal".
I am convinced this is because excellence quickly becomes abstract. The conversation inevitably moves to "if we would only do THIS thing, or THAT thing. . . ".
I can't account for why this happens but it does. The only solution for such behavior I believe is found in Peter's quote above. Excellence needs to move from a topic of discussion to the way we operate day in and day out. Excellence isn't an idea. It is a verb the impacts our strategies AND our operations.
Try this. Next time your staff begins to talk about how things "should" be done in the future stop the conversation and rearrange your meeting agenda so excellence can have it's way in the current meeting. This essentially means giving up long winded dialogues about "what we should do" in favor of what we will implement right now in the moment followed by a promise (at least an action item for the next meeting ) to measure results and followup on its impact.
Excellence can have an impact on your staff. Just don't wait for it. Just do it.