WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1425 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2015-08-18 01:12:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-08-18 01:12:46 [post_content] => There’s an old saying, “walk a mile in another man's shoes.” It means that before you criticize someone or pass judgment on them, you should take a look at the world from their point of view. To have empathy for someone means you are putting yourself in a position to feel what that person is feeling. The world could use a great deal more empathy. It’s easy to see that we could decrease disputes and disagreements by being more empathetic, and we’d quickly clear up misunderstandings and misconceptions. Taking it one step further, empathy becomes strategic as new channels of data open to us. To illustrate this point, meet Cooper, the owner of a large family-owned insurance brokerage in Los Angeles. It was during the time when everyone was still getting used to email. Due to the nature of their business, Cooper felt that the company needed to keep a paper record of every client email. Cooper’s office manager disagreed. She predicted enormous paper waste, but he was adamant. So the rule went into effect without further discussion. After all, Cooper was the boss. Two years later, Cooper was working late on a presentation for a new client. The printer in his office malfunctioned, so he routed a document he needed to a shared printer in the main office. As he waited for his presentation to be printed, he looked down at the trash can and was startled by what he saw: enormous but neat stacks of printed emails. What a waste of paper, he thought to himself. The next morning, he asked his office manager about the trash and what he heard surprised him even more: the waste was the result of his own email policy two years ago. Fortunately, Cooper realized he needed to listen to his office manager when she explained how much waste had occurred in terms of dollars and cents: $300 a month, $7,200 since the email policy was passed, and more than $14,000 in total costs when she added toner and staff time. After talking with his sales agents and staffers, he learned that everyone thought that the policy was wasteful and inefficient. Initially, he was frustrated that no one took the initiative to explain it to him, but then he realized that they did not because he was so adamant. When team members employ empathy as part of their day-to-day management, it becomes a powerful tool that opens new insight and understanding about problems and situations they may not have realized existed. Instead of one or two perspectives, you can open yourself to three or four perspectives all at one time. Just about every position in a company can benefit from empathy. In fact, I cannot think of a single job description where an ounce of empathy would not help improve productivity, team cohesion, and, most of all, the quality of output. In a world where everyone wants to improve quality, everyone must contribute, and everyone must have a voice. By being empathetic, we also gain commitment to make quality an integral part of life both at both work and home. [post_title] => Empathy for Quality [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => empathy-quality [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-11 01:14:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-10-11 01:14:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=1425 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 386 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2013-05-15 03:32:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-05-15 03:32:12 [post_content] => Over the last 50 plus years, Toyota has led the automotive industry in quality and cost. As a result, the company rose to become the world's largest automotive manufacturing corporation and Japan's largest corporation with revenues of $230 billion in 2009. However, this once untarnished icon of Japan's status as an economic powerhouse, is now in decline and the impact on the company and the entire country is tangible. As Dr. Masatomo Tanaka says, a professor at the Institute of Technologists, a university that specializes in training engineers, "If Toyota is not healthy, then Japan is not healthy." As goes Toyota, so goes Japan. Toyota has long enjoyed near hallowed status in Japan as the greatest practitioner of "monozukuri," a centuries-old ideal of perfection in craftsmanship central to ancient pottery and sword-making. The pride of craftsmanship, burned into Japanese culture as the apex of accomplishment, was turned loose on the factory floor and was once the secret to Japan's postwar "miracle." Then something changed. Yes, the earthquake and tsunami last year was a serious blow to Japanese manufacturing, but the decline at Toyota was clear long before the natural disaster. About the time the company achieved its global dominance, rumors began to filter out that management was cutting corners on quality – fewer people on the factory floor, lower quality raw materials and suppliers, reductions in research and development. [pullquote]Shaving a few dollars off the cost of each car has resulted in billions of dollars in recall costs, not to mention the billions of dollars in legal costs the company has incurred from lawsuits filed by customers and government regulators – and in a few cases, possible loss of life.[/pullquote] The result has been devastating. Shaving a few dollars off the cost of each car has resulted in billions of dollars in recall costs, not to mention the billions of dollars in legal costs the company has incurred from lawsuits filed by customers and government regulators – and in a few cases, possible loss of life. The damage has also been broadly felt: dealerships have lost sales, negatively impacting local economies, and for a time Toyota’s global position fell. But Toyota’s once unblemished record of quality is now questioned in the media and among many customers. To compound matters, as Toyota moved away from quality, some of its competitors have moved in. Some have embraced their earlier methods to the extent that their products are now surpassing Toyota. Korea's Hyundia-Kia is rapidly gaining on once dominant giant and Detroit's big three have partly adopted Toyota's engineering and manufacturing methodologies and improved their quality as well. Toyota had the quality mindset before it become the largest corporation in Japan and the largest automotive company in the world. The company’s actions proved that quality can be the principle driver of efficiency and profitability, but also market dominance. Now the company is learning a new lesson about what happens to giants when they cut corners too often. [post_title] => Cutting Corners [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] => cutting-corners [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-08-31 19:02:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-08-31 19:02:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=386 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 153 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2013-04-05 20:46:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-04-05 20:46:30 [post_content] => I was visiting a friend of mine who at the time was the chief executive officer of a large consumer products company. Although we had spent many months prior to my visit discussing quality problems that the company was experiencing, he was reluctant to even talk about it now that we were sitting face to face in his office. Finally, he exhaled sharply. “Listen, Subir.” I could tell he was very frustrated. “We have spent a lot of money on our program deployment, but…” then he drifted off, waving his hand. He looked over my shoulder to make sure his door was closed and then he leaned forward. In all the years I had known him, I had never seen him so uneasy. [pullquote]The 4Cs is a script that adds potency to upper management’s decision to deploy whatever management program or other process they choose.[/pullquote] “It’s not working,” he hissed. “Every time that I think we have achieved some milestone, it slips away.” He shrugged helplessly. I nodded. “Maybe you have a broken chain.” “A broken what?” I instantly understood his problem. No matter what program you deploy – Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, Lean Management, Design for Six Sigma – if you don’t have a robust management chain, you are risking failure. Understand that all of the process programs I’ve mentioned are excellent tools that have been used all over the globe by hundreds of companies, large and small. Many of them have a long history of success. But the caveat is that they will only work if you also deploy what I call the 4Cs:
These 4Cs are the management chain describes separate and overlapping processes. Together, they form a managerial imperative that must be ‘in play’ at the highest levels of the organization leadership. At some level, you can call them common sense measures, but in fact they are more important than that. The 4Cs is a script that adds potency to upper management’s decision to deploy whatever management program or other process they choose. They give guidance to all managers on their conduct; a check and balance for every detail in the deployment. Depending on how strongly the senior managers emphasize their use, the 4Cs become ethical anchors for self-measuring effective leadership and productivity. Back to my friend. In order to make sure that his management team understands the importance of success, he still uses the 4Cs as part of his agenda in his weekly management reviews. [post_title] => How to Fix a Broken Chain [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-to-fix-a-broken-chain [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-04-15 09:45:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-04-15 09:45:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=153 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
- Commitment. Every member of the management team must align with the program deployment. They must be active, knowledgeable participants in the planning stage, strong advocates. They must be dedicated to the program success and have intimate knowledge of the program goals.
- Consistency. Management must undertake very close monitoring of the program deployment; be engaged in every step of its progress to ensure that goals and procedures are fully honored. Moreover, they must also ensure that personnel and financial resources are available as needed for a successful implementation.
- Competency. Management must ensure that they have full understanding of the implementation process; that individual deployment leaders are fully trained and fully aligned with the goals of the program. Management must also establish an environment of full trust and patience during the deployment.
- Communication. Management must commit every means available for full and open communication including intranet, ‘town hall’ meetings, and personal workplace visits. Every member of the management team and all deployment leaders must encourage two-way communication (good or bad) with other members in the organization about the deployment progress.
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 703 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2013-01-05 23:05:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-01-05 23:05:03 [post_content] => In 2010, the Society of Automotive Engineers along with the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Foundation, established The Subir Chowdhury Medal of Quality Leadership. This award is designed to honor those in the mobility industry who demonstrate ability and talent to further innovation and broaden the impact of "quality" in mobility engineering, design and manufacture. This award is offered in the spirit of my lifetime of work toward quality in the engineering professions.
|James D. Power||2010||JD Power And Associates|
|Glen A. Barton||2011||Caterpillar Inc|