WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 126 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2013-03-03 19:49:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-03-03 19:49:52 [post_content] => While it is true that I am advancing a new way to think about quality, I am also reaching beyond common output metrics of a product or service. I believe that we need a fresh approach that can have a profound effect on not only the way we work, but the way we perceive our everyday life. Think about this. In business, the present concept of quality has been fixture for the past 75 years. But the irony is that while the industry has developed an abundance of quality management tools, most organizations unfortunately still struggle to make sustainable, long term gains that can truly differentiate themselves in today’s global marketplace. That is where my thought process has taken me – to understand why the present concept does not serve us better. In my analysis, I have found that the focus on the “process of quality” is in fact incorrect. I have discovered that it is the process of managing quality that is primarily to blame. I will say that the intent to manage the process is limiting because it focuses far too much attention on the “outcome of quality,” not the “act of delivering quality.” Why is this important? Because, Quality touches everything that you do on a daily basis; from discussions you hold with your peers, subordinates and leaders and the interactions you have with suppliers, vendors, and other providers. In fact, Quality touches every aspect of your life – in your business as well as your personal family life. [pullquote]When has a quick fix ever solved anything?[/pullquote] We can say that a problem belongs to someone else or we can look at ourselves in the mirror and accept the responsibility of solving the problem ourselves. If each one of us starts with the mindset that the problem belongs to me, then all problems will disappear. When I say that Quality is a part of everything you do, I mean to say that you become aware of both the problem and your ability to fix any problem or deal with any issue whether at work, our personal life, or in our community. This perspective of Quality also refuses to accept compromise. It also recognizes that lasting solutions require that we do more than “fix” a problem. I ask that you think about this honestly – when has a quick fix ever solved anything? That’s where I believe we have failed ourselves. While we have made some fantastic strides to improve quality, we have sunken into the false security that a “find-and-fix” process is somehow enough. But obviously it isn’t. This all-encompassing vision of Quality offers a new mindset, a transformational way to think about the actions and decisions that we make. It draws together commitment from people to improve their performance and make Quality a lifestyle choice, a cultural attitude, and a personal belief that refocuses all attention on the “act of delivering quality.” [post_title] => Redefine the Nature of Quality [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => redefining-the-nature-of-quality [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-10-18 13:51:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-10-18 13:51:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=126 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [format_content] => )
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 895 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2012-09-18 15:03:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-09-18 15:03:23 [post_content] =>
The Subir Chowdhury Fellowship on Quality and Economics allows for any post-doctoral scholar in-residence to participate in the program, regardless of ethnicity or national origin and spend time at LSE engaging in research examining the impact of “people quality” and behavior on the economies of Asian nations prioritizing, but not restricted to, India and Bangladesh.Ultimately, the “Subir Chowdhury Fellow” is expected to successfully complete one publishable research paper during their stay and make a presentation at a seminar or lecture arranged by the Asia Research Centre. To date, this Fellowship has been awarded to the following individuals:
|2011-2012||Dr. Vanishree Joseph Indira Gandhi National Open University|
|Click Here - For more information on Dr. Joseph and her work.|
|2010-2011||Dr. Rahul Hiremath Walchand Institute of Technology and Birla Institute of Technology & Science|
|Click Here - For more information on Dr. Hiremath and his work, please click.|
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 162 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2013-02-12 20:53:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-02-12 20:53:26 [post_content] => From the very beginning of my work, I kept a journal of challenges and crisis that were reported to me by my clients. I recorded problems, noted characteristics, and key patterns in each of them. My goal was to record how the different situations were related and how problems were eventually resolved. Why did the product fail? What is causing delays. Why are customers turning way? Initially, the journal resembled a catalog dissimilar events, but after about 20 years of work, I amassed enough information that clear patterns began to emerge. To my surprise, the patterns showed up quite readily as event-driven triggers – three of them to be precise. It didn’t matter where the company was located, what sector they served, how large or small the organization was, nor how old. It also didn’t matter what kind of problem it was – revenue generation, human relations, manufacturing, research and development. The same patterns were evident among government agencies, small private businesses, or major multi-national corporations. [pullquote]Fire, flow and future events are interrelated – think of them as points in a triangle.[/pullquote] That’s how my three triggers came to be Fire, Flow, and Future.
FIREFire describes a sudden problem that usually causes a specific crisis of some kind – like a malfunction or faulty product. Fires require either a near term and long-term resolution; sometimes both. The cause of a Fire may be obvious or it may be hidden or multiple causes. Most fires tend to be minor in scope, but sometimes they can be very large and extremely complex. But just like any fire, bad assumptions can easily lead to a misdiagnosis and mistreatment.
FLOWFlow refers to a disruption in the operations side of the organization that could be limited to a small portion of the overall process. There are two kinds of flow – administrative and delivery (production of product or delivery of service). Flow events are often characterized by an unexpected result somewhere else in the process. They could be a reaction to unexpected external or internal changes. It is likely the problem existed long before you became aware of it.
FUTUREFuture identifies the timely development (or redevelopment) of new products or services; a vital activity that influences the company’s marketability and profitability over time. It requires built-in flexibility within the organization; the requisite motivation to invest time, money and intellectual capital to constantly move products and services to meet customer demand. As it turns out, future is also the motive and opportunity to build greater quality into the innovation process – so in that regard it is usually self-starting or self-generating. No organization is without an occasional fire or two. No company exists that hasn’t experienced an interruptions in flow, or faced an imperfect future. And while total perfection is always a goal rather than reality, we must be vigilant about these events and react swiftly and decisively as though perfection were within our grasp. Fire, flow and future events are interrelated – think of them as points in a triangle. For instance, you could see a fire that is actually symptomatic of a problem within the flow, or one that reveals a badly needed cycle of redevelopment for your future. You may even discover a fire (or a multiple smoldering ones) that you didn’t know about as you to peel back a problem in the flow. I advise all my clients to keep a ready journal as I have – one for each type of event – and watch for unique patterns in circumstances and triggers. A resource like that that will be invaluable, especially for detecting long-term and deep-seated problems. Above all, keep your mind open to the evidence, and your power of reason will help you deduce the correct solution. [post_title] => Fire, Flow, Future [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => fire-flow-future [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-04-15 10:09:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-04-15 10:09:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=162 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [format_content] => )
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1243 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2013-08-15 07:07:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-08-15 07:07:42 [post_content] => Not all waste is created equal. Some of it is extremely valuable; especially when it teaches us something about the way we run our business. The owner of an insurance brokerage in Los Angeles, CA – we will call him “Cooper” – relayed this story to us recently. Cooper was working late one night on a presentation for a new client. The printer in his office malfunctioned, so he routed a document he needed to the printer that the staffers shared. As he waited by the printer, he looked down at the trashcan and was startled by what he saw: heaping but neat stacks of printed email, dumped straight into the round file. At the time, his office had about 35 employees, so he imagined that it was an isolated incident. But he knew that he should take a closer look. The next morning, he asked his administrative manager about the trash and what he heard surprised him even more. Two years earlier, he had set what he thought was a mundane office policy to require a paper record of all emails relating to client business. Email was still a relatively new business tool. Cooper didn’t know that people tended to communicate with each other via the “Reply To” function. As a result, many emails grew into long strings of messages that included every comment made with the important details sprinkled all over. Outlook and other email managers help search for the important bits, but when you print, you get the whole enchilada including every joke, recipe, sports prediction, birthday greeting, salutation, and thanks. Because of the policy, agents were forwarding customer emails to staffers. At the close of every day, the staffers printed everything, kept what they needed and tossed out the rest. Cooper measured the stack of paper and found that it was almost even with a fresh package of paper, or about 500 sheets. The real shock came when the manager revealed that this stack was light. Not only did the process occur daily, many times the amount of waste was double, even triple what Cooper had seen. Cooper and the manager estimated that the cost of wasted paper from printing emails was running up a $300 a month bill; $7,200 since the email policy was passed. When they added toner and staff time, the total cost soared to more than $14,000. Talking with agents and staffers, he learned that everyone thought that the policy was wasteful and inefficient. And yet, no one took the initiative to anything about it. Not long after this incident, a non-paper solution was adopted and Cooper was pleased that he could reduce cost and increase efficiency from one small change. Then he realized that this one example was a symptom of other perhaps more costly problems and worried where they might be. About a year later, “The Ice Cream Maker,” was published. Cooper bought a copy and read it one afternoon. Inspired by the concept of using quality as the benchmark of behavior throughout his business, he bought a copy for everyone in his office. To this day, new employees receive a copy as part of their training. Another underlying message in this story is the fact that many businesses pass office policy without attention to a quality process. Had Cooper focused on the outcome rather than the solution, he might have avoided this problem entirely. Luckily, the trash was the clue. In my experience, the cost of such mistakes can produce even greater expense. Something to think about the next time you’re in a position to set what you think is a mundane office policy. [post_title] => Valuable Trash [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => valuable-trash [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-09-01 07:18:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-09-01 07:18:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=1243 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [format_content] => )