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Key Idea: Develop a Passion for Perfection

John Solheim and his chief engineer pour over the details.

Key Question:


Develop a passion for perfection.

Q: Do you think it is true that those among us who are no longer striving for a higher perfection have simply lost their vision and hope for the future? Do you think that striving is at the heart of creativity?

A: David Sarnoff, Russian-U.S. inventor, pioneer, and executive, once said "The greatest menace to the life of an industry is industrial self-complacency." Whenever we take the view, "this is good enough,” we stop growing as a business. Striving for perfection means always looking for a better way and never saying or even feeling the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” sentiment. It means attacking each new project as if our business’ life depended on it. Collectively, that’s true! There is always a better way, and daily our challenge is to find it.

At Ping, they challenge themselves to constantly take the next step on the road to perfection. Just as they know it will never be perfect, they know they can always do better. Or as Mom always said, "there is always room for improvement."

Think about it

Look around your place of business. What product or process needs to be improved? What would it take to make the changes needed to put your company at the top of your industry? What awards have you won lately?

Clip from: Ping Golf with John Solheim, Karsten Manufacturing

Made in the USA:  Ping putters. Manufacturing is coming back.

How do I keep quality high? 

Phoenix, Arizona:  Innovators, by their very nature, are constantly going up against existing systems. The establishment. Sometimes their insights do not come by small increments, but by large leaps and then the renegades become outlaws!

If you are a golfer, you know Ping. It ranks at the top with Titleist, Spaulding, Calloway, Taylor-made-Adidas...  Yet , this business is still privately-held; and though the patriarch (and father) has died, his son, John, continues to build on all the lessons he learned as his engineering apprentice when they started this business.

Meet the Solheim family.  Like so many who redefine an entire industry, they were outlawed within it. They broke the rules. They created something totally new. Some people thought they were just crazy, until they began winning within their game. These renegades persevered. They negotiated, and today they are leaders within their industry and on their way to becoming a billion dollar business.

They began in a California garage in 1959. The sound of success here is "Ping"   and today John Solheim continues a tradition for excellence that began with with his father, Karsten.  Together they invented and began manufacturing  the Ping Golf Clubs.

Here you will see how a business constantly strives for a higher perfection.

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Ping Golf of Karsten Manufacturing

John Solheim, Chairman & CEO

2201 West Desert Cove
Phoenix, AZ 85029

Visit our web site:

Office: 6026875000

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1959

Develop a Passion for Perfection

In the Studio

HATTIE: `Be ye therefore perfect' is Scripture that the Solheims must have taken more seriously than the rest of us who grew up reading the Bible. When perfection is the goal, great products are made, and the whole concept of continuous improvement becomes a way of life and then a part of the corporate culture. We saw the pursuit of perfection at every turn. Ping didn't become the world's largest manufacturer of putters by trying to be second best. To grow as this company has, you must have a big vision and high standards, and at the same time, commit to the details. It's the big goal of perfection that motivates everyone to reach for the hundreds of little goals that must be accomplished by hundreds of people every day. John said there's no quality control department because every single employee is a quality control department of one, and each has the authority to send a product for corrections or changes. That's the beauty of this business. Quality is not up to John; it's up to everyone. (Voiceover) To read the entire script of this program, go to

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