"Quality means doing it right when no one is looking."
-- Henry Ford
I've seen a lot of quotes about quality and excellence and none quite like Henry Ford put it. What this quote means to me, may not mean this to others, but it means to me that you don't produce quality for the customer, but because that is created because that is how you want to produce a thing. In other words, you don't do it for others, but for yourself and others just happen to benefit. When I think about this quote that way, it is so, so powerful to me.
Many companies hype quality and use it like a slogan. It's just smoke and mirrors much of the time. They aren't doing it for themselves, they are doing it to get attention, as in advertising, promoting, blowing hot air. A company is so much better to produce quality as a personal or company desire than for any other reason.
I think it makes all the difference.