Quantity is More Important than Quality

Quantity is More Important than Quality

How many times have you heard the advice “worry about quality over quantity”? Whatever your answer is, it is too many. The statement of Quality over Quantity is 100% wrong.

Quantity leads to quality.

Imagine a basketball player practicing 3-point shots and making the first shot he takes and then stopping. He achieved quality; why should he continue? Now look at Larry Bird, one of the best shooters in NBA history, he would shoot 500 free throws every morning before class when he was in high school. That quantity of shooting over the years led him straight in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

In the book Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland, they also address the concept of quantity leading to quality.

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

Quality leads to consistency

Quality will come the more you practice, make mistakes, try something new, experiment, evaluate what happened and then start back over. What also happens during this process is that you find your style, your voice. Knowing what your style is will allow you to create more consistently. It will allow your customers to know what to expect.

Consistency drives repeat business

This consistency of voice is what drives repeat business. It is why chain restaurants exist. You can go into an Olive Garden in New Jersey and one in California and expect to receive the same meal.

How does all of this apply to your job in creating training materials, teaching individuals, leading your team?

You need to try and fail and then evaluate. What were you looking to accomplish, what did you do and then what were the results? Then repeat it again. More often than not what you try will not go as expected or might out right fail. But in the process, you are learning you are growing, and your skills and voice are developing.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you are not, then you are not challenging yourself to get better.



A Critical Look at Measuring Learning Outcomes

A Critical Look at Measuring Learning Outcomes