WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 132 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2013-02-09 19:54:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-02-09 19:54:36 [post_content] => A few years ago, a colleague of mine was driving his car and hit a big pothole in the road. He stopped the car to make sure everything was okay. The car was fine, but at some point, he must have dropped his wallet, because when he got home he couldn’t find it. Sure, he had some money and credit cards in there, but he said that he also had some pictures of his family, and was devastated to think that he’d never get them back. A few weeks went by and out of the blue he got a phone call from a woman he didn’t know. She said she had found his wallet. When he went to pick it up, the woman said she just saw it on the side of the road and knew that someone would want it back. Everything was still in the wallet, just as he had left it. A few months after this incident, he happened to read an article in the newspaper and it turned out that the woman who found his wallet ran a shelter for the homeless. So every year, on the anniversary of losing his wallet, he makes an anonymous donation to her shelter. It’s a simple thank you, and a reminder that there are people in this world who do the right thing. It’s not the facts of the action that makes this a demonstration of Quality. It’s the “mindset” that this woman possessed that makes it an example of what is possible. This is what impresses everybody so much. Because, what did she do? She rose above the norm. And when people make these extraordinary efforts, they make the rest of us sit up and take notice. [pullquote]Whatever your station in life, rich, poor; if you are the CEO or the janitor, it doesn’t matter because the same principles of Quality still apply.[/pullquote] Now I will never forget what this woman did for my friend. It is burned into my consciousness. Wouldn’t you like to have employees who will go that extra mile with you, rise above the norm and make that kind of impact on your business? Having a “quality mindset” - being honest, having integrity and resisting compromise at all costs I believe, is the basis for starting, fostering and ensuring long-term success both individually and collectively. Whatever your station in life, rich, poor; if you are the CEO or the janitor, it doesn’t matter because the same principles of Quality still apply. We all have customers who tell us their needs, wants, and desires. We must strive to not only meet, but constantly exceed their expectations. My “Quality is Everyone’s Business” (QIEB) philosophy –allows everyone to understand why having that “quality mindset” becomes the guiding force that allows them to change up their “game” and perform at higher levels than before. When we make Quality a lifestyle choice – we make it the ultimate choice. When our workforce upholds the Quality Mindset, they have chosen to dedicate themselves to Quality like the woman in this story, and that’s when they will begin to make high-level decisions that will never fail to make positive and lasting impressions. [post_title] => Make Quality a Lifestyle Choice [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => making-quality-a-lifestyle-choice [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-10-18 13:53:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-10-18 13:53:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=132 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [format_content] => )
WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1241 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2013-07-10 07:00:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-10 07:00:44 [post_content] => I am deeply troubled by the increased pace of self-inflicted crises in our government and economy. We have been witness to one event after another during the last several years, each with seemingly greater levels of consequence and damage. Not surprisingly, this is all happening under the watchful eyes of two of the least productive congressional sessions in history. Questions persist as to whether our representatives can actually manage the country’s business without wasting time, money, and even lives. From my perspective, it appears that our elected officials and policy makers prefer political theater to resolving problems. Consider the so-called “sequester,” enacted as law at the start of 2013. It was another impasse; another political crisis. Congressional leaders and President Obama knew they had to do something, but ideology prevented them from doing something constructive. The Sequester was a flawed policy that nearly everyone knew wouldn’t work. Many people who participated in the decision warned of consequential damages that could eventually increase the cost of operations and decrease the quality of services delivered. And some of those predictions have already been proven to be correct. No business survives long making decisions in that way. From my perspective as a management consultant for more than twenty years, it is clear that our current government is focused on putting up barriers instead of tearing them down and creating opportunities. When I train executives and managers, I teach the importance of listening. As a core competency of successful leadership, active listening brings organizational cohesion. It enriches social interaction and optimizes decision-making though mutual interests. When leaders want an organization to grow, they tear down barriers and look for opportunities. Why can’t we get our government to do the same? We can, but only if we demand it. Yet, rather than ask representatives to enact such a change, I challenge each of us, as citizens and voters, to begin the process. After all, it is our duty to elect leaders to represent our interests. “We the people” empower the national agenda—we set the political priorities by what we think and what we believe. More important, how can we ask our government to adopt a new standard for management if we are distracted by political theater? How can we ask for a new quality standard, if we are not willing to practice it ourselves? I propose a “cause for quality” in which we see past the differences and build consensus. We don’t need a new party platform or a petition to achieve this goal. But we do need a dose of reality. If we stay on the path we are currently on, if “we the people” fail to change course, my fear is that the crises will only continue and our losses will only grow worse. Granted, there are significant differences between running a country and running a company. When businesses fail to embrace quality, customers complain, and sales drop. If there are no changes, poor quality will lead to even more lost sales and the business may ultimately fail. However, companies can reorganize, re-invent, re-invest, and recover. What happens when quality fails in government? The effects are invasive and long-lasting. When government leaders fail quality, economies falter, institutions fail, and individual futures are destroyed. The country can rebuild – we’ve done it before – but no one can replace personal suffering. Just think of the long recession we had to endure. Do you want to endure another? The root cause of the current failure in Congress and the White House is our own—we lack a true understanding of what is going on and are not engaged in any significant way. To me, the threat of failure is clear and the answer obvious. We either build up and strengthen the very foundations of this great democracy, or leave things as they and allow the country to continue to erode. We must not tolerate another self-inflicted crisis. To begin, we all need to stop playing the blame game. It’s not just your representative’s fault, the President’s fault, or the fault of anyone in government. It is our collective failure to recognize poor judgment. It is our fault for accepting poor quality decisions instead of demanding more from the process. The economic advancement of any nation depends on how its citizens practice quality. We are all shareholders in the United States of America. As such, we have the responsibility to participate and work toward meaningful change. [post_title] => Whose political crisis is this, anyhow? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => political-crisis-this-anyhow [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-09-01 07:07:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-09-01 07:07:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://subirchowdhury.com/?p=1241 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [format_content] => )
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 [format_content] => )
- 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|