WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 115 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2013-01-19 18:53:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-01-19 18:53:43 [post_content] => When I ask people, “what does Quality mean to you?” I hear a wide range of answers. For some people, their answer is, “Quality means putting out the best product or service possible.” Others may say, “Honesty and trust.” Many will tell you, “Quality means doing the right thing at the right time.” Still others will say, “Quality is a resistance to compromise.” However, more often than not, I still hear “ I have no idea, that’s why we have a quality department,” or “Hey let me ask my Vice President of Quality,” or even worse yet, “I’m not sure what quality means to me.” [pullquote]I would like to see a day when we don’t hesitate about our response toward Quality.[/pullquote] Ideally, I would like to see a day when we don’t hesitate about our response toward Quality; when everyone has a fearless reaction to Quality just like they do with everyday events. Bottom line, everyone, needs make Quality a priority, and a part of everything they do. When we all understand the impact of our actions, how even the smallest action may pay enormous dividends, then that leads to the path of true quality: preventing human error; possessing the kind of oversight and engrained thought that corrects misjudgments before they have a chance to trigger problems. What a world this could be if we all were that much more attentive; that much more in tune, and truly understood and believed the dramatic impact that Quality can have on all of us! [post_title] => What does Quality mean to You? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => what-does-quality-mean-to-you [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-04-17 13:24:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-04-17 13:24:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=115 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1421 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2015-05-12 01:09:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-05-12 01:09:31 [post_content] =>[post_title] => Data, Action, and Future [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => data-action-future [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-11 01:11:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-10-11 01:11:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=1421 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )When I talk about “honesty” in the context of quality, people often mistake my intent. I am not implying that people are dishonest. I am not saying that people do not know right from wrong. The kind of honesty I’m referring to is the kind that helps you avoid mistakes in your business—the type of honesty that pushes good data, good actions, and a positive future.
When there are disasters, people often make irrational claims that a company is being deliberately dishonest. There’s a general misunderstanding about how large organizations make decisions. Large corporations and especially government and government agencies rely heavily on management consensus for their big decisions. The nature of the consensus could be based on several criteria like risk assessments, mitigation, cost factors, profitability, and so on. No single factor is the driving force in any decision, especially when there are political elements involved. Moreover, that’s how disasters can happen. In the cases I mentioned above, it is very likely that few people thought that the risk levels were high enough to change their minds or offer alternative solutions. More than likely, they never heard the warnings because, by that time, the warnings had been filtered out or diluted to the point that they didn’t stand out. Ultimately, the decision makers did what many people do: they just went with the flow. To me, “going with the flow” means that you are not listening to the data, you are not enriching your actions, and you are not optimizing your future. When you make decisions as they did at BP or Fukushima, you’re taking an average of possible answers and hoping nobody notices that you took a shortcut. The problem is, these days, even the most innocuous shortcuts can set off terrible global disasters. When you have true honesty in management, information flows freely. You have real data, effective action, and a positive future. If you do not have honesty from everyone in your organization, how can you make the right decisions? How can you trust the quality of your processes if your people can’t be honest with you?
- What happened that allowed the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform to explode and release millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico? Detailed testimony during the court case against BP suggests that the engineers and management were aware of possible problems, but that they ignored the warnings.
- What were politicians thinking when they enacted the Budget Control Act of 2011? Supporters claimed that budget sequestration would not damage American military readiness. However, less than a year after enactment of the law, a top of the line nuclear submarine was severely damaged because the resources were not there to protect it. When it came time to repair the sub, the US Navy said that it didn’t have the budget, so a $1 billion piece of equipment was scrapped instead.
- The Japanese government and a national power company claimed that the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster was the result of unforeseen circumstances. Reports have since come out that they had received many warnings that Fukushima was vulnerable to tsunami and earthquakes.
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 145 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2013-03-30 08:04:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-03-30 08:04:25 [post_content] => For years now, I have been observing organizations just to see what makes their operations rise above the rest and make them what I call “excellent organizations.” What I discovered is more common sense than it is groundbreaking. My entire career has been focused on the development of management tools that companies and organizations use to produce substantial and sustainable change to their management and general quality processes throughout the organization. Sometimes, that effort involves highly technical and statistical models. Sometimes organizations deploy very detailed programs that require extensive training. In most instances where the effort to change is sustained, substantial change in terms of quality output and the resilience of the organization is evident. But sometimes it isn’t. In cases where improvement was not sustained, I examined the process more closely. I compared the organizations that had long-term improvement with those that did not. In both cases, there was continual training and management was engaged and dedicated to the improvement goals.what makes their operations rise above the rest and make them what I call “excellent organizations.” Then I found an important point where the comparisons differed. [pullquote]The underlying strength of “people power” is the fact that it relies on basic human skills.[/pullquote] Organizations that produced sustainable improvement added another layer to their activity—something so vital that once you see it, it is impossible to ignore. In the organizations that revolutionized their quality processes, everyone in the organization was completely engaged. From the executive suite to every last worker, every single person was involved. People were encouraged to participate in conversations, interact with each other about the particulars of the organizational mission and operation, and rewarded when they implemented changes that were productive. People throughout organization became energized and mobilized. It was at this point that I realized that the reach of “process power” is limited. Without “people power” to back it up, the quality process can only go so far. After all, we are highly social creatures that love to communicate and interact with each other. And more important, we grow both individually and collectively when we implement what we learn from each other. It was clear to me that among these excellent and successful organizations, there was a focused effort to encourage communication, interaction, and implementation – basic human skills that are intrinsic to each of us. It is within this framework that I developed LEO – Listen, Enrich, and Optimize – which has proven to be a flexible and transformative program that draws attention on the strengths of human interaction. The underlying strength of “people power” is the fact that it relies on basic human skills. Encouraged and utilized systematically, these skills may also serve as the triggering mechanism that can cause every member in the organization to think deeply about the decisions they make and the actions they take. [post_title] => The Quality Process Revolution [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-quality-process-revolution [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-07-14 22:18:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-14 22:18:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=145 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 808 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2013-03-20 17:53:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-03-20 17:53:51 [post_content] => While reading a book titled The Leader of the Future and co-authored by Frances Hesselbein and others, Subir Chowdhury was keenly interested in Ms Hesselbein’ s leadership style and ideas on how leadership and organizational development would be impacted in the new millennium. This was back in 1997 and thus began a long relationship between Hesselbein and Chowdhury. Eventually, through intellectual exchanges with Hesselbein, Chowdhury was inspired to write Management 21C, a book that drew on thoughts of 26 of the world’s top thought leaders on management, including Hesselbein. To honor his mentor and friend, in 2012 Chowdhury and The Subir and Malini Chowdhury Foundation provided a lifetime endowment for The Frances Hesselbein Medal for Excellence in Leadership and Service. The award is bestowed annually to a cadet who best exhibits excellence in mentorship and leadership by example at the United States Military Academy at West Point. In May of 2012, The Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership (BS&L) at the United States Military Academy at West Point awarded its first Frances Hesselbein Medal for Excellence this past May to Cadet Chris Jarrett ’12. Going forward, BS&L will hand out this award annually to the cadet who best exhibits superiority in mentorship and leadership-by-example at the United States Military Academy at West Point as determined by peers and faculty. [caption id="attachment_805" align="aligncenter" width="300"] From L-R - Cadet Chris Jarrett ’12 – Inaugural Winner of the Frances Hesselbein Medal for Excellence in Leadership and Service, COL Bernie Banks (Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership), Frances Hesselbein, and Subir Chowdhury.[/caption] [post_title] => Frances Hesselbein Medal for Excellence in Leadership and Service [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] => frances-hesselbein-medal-for-excellence-in-leadership-and-service [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-05-08 20:15:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-05-08 20:15:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=808 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )