WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 140 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2013-04-25 19:58:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-04-25 19:58:40 [post_content] => I have mentioned “Listen, Enrich and Optimize” in previous articles and I'll probably mention them again. They are the main principles of my LEO methodology and they are integral to "Quality is Everyone’s Business” (QIEB) philosophy. We use QIEB to ensure that everyone in the organization is driving toward the same goal of Quality. LEO helps ensure that this transformation is sustainable. Why must we as individuals “listen” better to our customers, suppliers, co-workers and our competition? All too often, we dedicated ourselves to collecting data associated with a problem without asking deeper questions like “why” and “how” that might give us better clarity about the processes behind the data. Watch and observe what works and what doesn’t. Understand and empathize with all your stakeholders until you “get it.” How they express what they need; how they define their expectation of Quality; what it takes to make them delighted and enthused with you, your employees and your company – these are the realizations that will ultimately redefine the level of service you offer and provide. [pullquote]We use QIEB to ensure that everyone in the organization is driving toward the same goal of Quality. LEO helps ensure that this transformation is sustainable.[/pullquote] When I say “Enrich,” I mean to point out a process that guides us toward what we should do once we have full knowledge of the situation. In other words, if listening leads us to lessons of how we may improve, then enriching means putting those lessons to work thereby increase our potential to achieve a successful solution. Here we apply some logical organization to how we are going to use our data. What does the data tell us about how we currently do things? How can we implement the data and when? If this sounds somewhat familiar, it should, since it echoes many of the aspects of the Quality Mindset that we constantly refer back to in QIEB: Honesty, Integrity, and Resistance to Compromise. Ultimately, once you and your entire organization have gotten the processes and procedures honed down and working to meet and exceed the needs, wants and desires of your customers, both internal and external, then you must keep raising the bar. That’s the point of “Optimize.” The goal is not just to put out a fire but also to prevent it from happening again. We can challenge known solutions and compare them against other solutions you have discovered; select the best ones and constantly subject them to every situation they may encounter. When you have corrected for any and all possible shortcomings, start the process over. Ultimately, we will never settle for just “good enough” again. We can spend quite a bit of time on sharpening our LEO skills. By Listening, we don’t get complacent. By Enriching, we strive for perfection. And by Optimizing, we look at Quality as a universal, everyday goal, not an exception that rests with a few people. Ultimately, to be successful, quality must be “everyone’s” business. [post_title] => LEO Revisited: The benefits of “Listen, Enrich, Optimize” [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => leo-revisited-the-benefits-of-listen-enrich-optimize [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-04-26 13:04:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-04-26 13:04:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=140 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [format_content] => )
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 379 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2013-05-20 03:23:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-05-20 03:23:54 [post_content] => Earthquakes in Haiti and Chile measured 7.0 and 8.8 respectively on the moment magnitude scale. The difference implies that the Chilean earthquake was 500 times stronger than the Haiti earthquake. While the devastation in both countries was extreme, structural damage and loss of life were far less in Chile than in Haiti. The difference in devastation is largely attributed to the difference in building standards. [pullquote]The impact of one nation's choice to pursue or not pursue quality impacts not only that nation but almost every other nation across the globe. [/pullquote] Very few structures collapsed in Chile and the number of deaths was far less than in Haiti even though the Chilean earthquake was 500 times stronger. In other words, in the case of Haiti, lack of quality can be directly attributable to the damage caused there, while a commitment to quality in Chile minimized what could have been an even greater loss of live than seen in Haiti. In Haiti, the death toll exceeded 200,000 and the number of buildings destroyed or severely damaged exceeded 250,000 homes and 30,000 commercial structures. In contrast, the death toll in Chile was less than 2,000 and very few structures were totally destroyed. While the differences in building standards can be rationalized by noting the differences in economic health with Haiti being one the poorest nations in the world, the cost of poor quality proved to be enormous in Haiti. Perhaps one of the most critical applications of quality is how it can have an impact on nations and individuals. The impact of one nation's choice to pursue or not pursue quality impacts not only that nation but almost every other nation across the globe. These decisions impact how dollars are spent and what they are spent on. While it's often a difficult decision, especially in third world countries, political leaders who choose to ignore quality risk paying a heavy price. Natural disasters cannot always be predicted, but you can minimize damage to people and places by integrating quality measures into infrastructures and policies. Whether it is a hurricane, flood, tornado, pollution, or fire, the impact of the economics of quality for nations and their environmental resources can be devastating. [post_title] => A Tale of Two Countries [post_excerpt] => Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are? Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence? [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => tale-countries [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-08-31 19:03:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-08-31 19:03:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=379 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [format_content] => )
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 182 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2013-03-16 21:13:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-03-16 21:13:20 [post_content] => An executive once emailed me a quote that reads: perfection is unknowable. I’m sure his source was Confucius or Zen teaching, but I also find this thought noted in Western cultures as well. So, maybe perfection is unattainable all things, but perfection is what we seek in all aspects of our lives. And it is interesting how we rationalize the contradiction between what we realize is possible and what we expect from our efforts. But is the goal really perfection? [pullquote]In an optimized organization, all processes move toward perfection.[/pullquote] In an optimized organization, all processes move toward perfection. That's how we can expect the greatest result from the smallest action. When nothing misses our attention; when every nuance snaps into our view, then we begin to work for continuous improvement toward perfection. There is nothing really revolutionary about the idea of continuous improvement. It has been espoused by philosophers, coaches and great leaders. I believe that this is the underlying philosophy for every slogan that asks us to look deep within ourselves to reach for greater goals than we might otherwise achieve. That's why the word “perfection” embellishes hundreds if not thousands of corporate mission statements. Those of us who aim for perfection come the rewards that are denied to those who – from lack of will or lack of awareness – give up the effort or never try. That is why successful organizations seek to improve their quality process – to achieve the highest level of optimization possible. They know that if a company wants to turn out high-quality products or services, the kind that will truly delight existing customers and attract new ones, you need to keep raising the bar on quality. From the perspective of your deliverables – the products and services that you offer to your customers – things work and fail for all sorts of reasons. When you optimize, you analyze every design and solution down to every detail. Not only are you aware of strengths, but have full knowledge of every weakness. And a plan for optimization is always at your fingertips. I see Optimization as a three-part process.
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 373 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2013-02-10 02:01:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-02-10 02:01:25 [post_content] => Modern economies depend heavily upon the distribution high quality education to members of our society. Without high-quality structured learning programs, not only are companies left without viable candidates to fill skilled jobs, society is often required to take care of the 'drop outs' one way or another. The tragedy is that had these kids found something they liked about education, they might have stayed in school. They might have gone on to lead productive lives and avoided the blemish of a criminal record. But for many of them, education reminds them of past failure. Without guidance and mentorship, that's a very difficult (if not impossible) barrier to ask school-age kids to overcome on their own. So I ask, who failed whom? In 2007, I received a letter from the Orange County Corrections Department in Orlando, Florida that still amazes me. The letter described how Warren Kenner, a facilitator for a "youthful offender program," introduced my book, "The Ice Cream Maker" as part of the curriculum for an eight-week literature study class for about a dozen students. If you have read this book, you know that it addresses concepts of deploying quality in a business operation. Mr Kenner saw another application of the concept; to offer it to his student as a model for injecting quality into their lives. He wrote, "If you want to get ahead in life, then you've got to treat everyone with respect; not just the people you like. Most important, you've got to be thinking daily on how to improve yourself in service to others." He also said that many of his students have been told all their short lives that they are losers; that they would never achieve anything in their lives. After a while, you begin to believe it. Most of them have such a low opinion of themselves that they lack the basic attributes of ambition and hope that you and I take for granted. His goal is to keep the kids from internalizing the negative voices and reach out for excellence. "My whole thrust is to have them commit to themselves. The have to believe in themselves before they can help themselves or anybody else." In Ice Cream Maker, one of the primary motivators for the fictitious business owner was recognizing the price of failure. For some of the students in this class, it was the first time that they had ever finished reading a book, yet remarkably, many came away from the experience recognizing the price of their own failure and fully comprehending that failure isn't final; that once you shed negative feelings about failure, you can begin working for total quality mindset in everything that you do. Imagine what we might accomplish if more people understood this very simple concept. If these kids get it, why can't the rest of us? [post_title] => Impact of Quality of Learning [post_excerpt] => Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are? Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence? [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => impact-of-quality-of-learning [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-03-21 13:23:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-03-21 13:23:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=373 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [format_content] => )