Quality must affect every conversation and interaction that we have with peers, subordinates, and leaders; every interaction that we have with co-workers, friends and family. That is why Quality is Everyone's Business.
April 16, 2013 | By Subir Chowdhury
Why should everyone in your organization be focused on quality? Here are four observations that makes the answer very clear.
The word “Quality” should mean more than a management tool that measures output of a company – and it can, if only we tap into the power of people to do the best that they can do – all of the time. Rather than see quality as a management process, I see it as a lifestyle choice – an underlying motive to work toward personal excellence.
For you to understand my approach to Quality, consider these four observations that I have made of companies and organizations that successfully sustain a high level of quality from the products and services that they deliver.
First, I am sure that everybody can appreciate how the execution of a “quality policy” should become a mindset; our attention to detail, our reaction to situations, our requirement of the ‘quality’ response. But consider that for the quality mindset to be sustainable, it cannot be delegated to “other people” or department to enforce. If we want the “mindset” itself to grow and become the underlying motive in all aspects of operations, then it must become embroidered into the very culture of the organization; right down to every individual involved.
When quality becomes everyone’s responsibility, the choices they make will ultimately lead to long-term growth and prosperity for the organization.
This leads us to my second observation – how Quality touches everything that everybody does on a daily basis. Yes, products and services are indeed Quality issues, but it must also touch every conversation and interaction that we have with peers, subordinates, and leaders; every interaction that we have with co-workers, friends and family. Therefore, I am of the firm belief that to be a Quality organization and deliver a high level of Quality products and services, Quality must become a part of everything we do, what we leave behind every day of our life, until it becomes a lifestyle choice, not just an afterthought.
My third observation is that when Quality is sustainable, when it produces tangible successes, it becomes a fulltime, committed responsibility from everybody in the organization. At this level, Quality is not just lip service; it is how we live on a daily basis. I challenge you to look around your organization today. Can you honestly say that all of your employees, co-workers, and suppliers directly or indirectly have an effect on the sphere of Quality? If the answer is yes, then Quality is a major factor driving the success of your organization. If the answer is no, then you must get the Quality message to entire universe of stakeholders who – in small and large ways – determine the level of Quality that comes from your organization. When quality becomes everyone’s responsibility, the choices they make will ultimately lead to long-term growth and prosperity for the organization.
My fourth observation is that people in a position of responsibility have a unique relationship to Quality. Whether they lead a team or a business or they are the head of a family, these people have a special duty to reinforce the message of Quality. They must constantly reinforce the importance of quality by carrying the message into every meeting and every encounter. They must also “walk the talk” by demonstrating through their own actions their commitment to Quality in all aspects of their lives – be it in the office, at home, or a casual encounter on the street.
What would happen if everyone had a fearless reaction to Quality? Imagine what we could accomplish; the problems that we could resolve in business, our personal lives, and in government.
Quality must become everyone’s business; we must reject that “good” can never be “good enough!
Quality begins with positive, individual action; when everyone in the organization is listening, enriching, and optimizing.
Has our attention on quality been misplaced? Is it time to redefine the way that Quality affects everyone in any organization? Is it time to get rid of the Quality “department” and make Quality something that everybody does?
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