//The difference between process and people

The difference between process and people

2018-06-14T21:07:52+00:00

There's a big difference between process and people. It's absolutely vital that you know the difference so that you can manage them better.

Quality & Me

Subir shares short stories about what people do to make a difference everywhere they go. We can make huge contributions to the way we function as a society by standing out as an example within our own community: at work, at our places of worship, among our colleagues, friends, and family. All it takes is the courage to step up and being straightforward, thoughtful, accountable, and resilient.

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Books by Subir

The Power of LEO
The Ice Cream Maker
The Power of Design for Six
The Power of Six Sigma
Organization 21c

Mindset matters.

When it comes to quality, mindset is the difference between short-term results and long-term success.

What I’ve discovered during my work with organizations of all sizes is that you can install the best processes, and they will probably work. You may even get some decent results.

But why would you settle for “decent” when you can have extraordinary?

Here’s the secret ingredient in the difference: people.

Real, sustainable quality involves both process and people. People who have a caring mindset.

When you have a caring mindset, there is literally no end to the levels of success you can achieve.

Don’t get me wrong. Having strong processes in place are important to an organization’s success. But they are only part of the equation. Without “people” your numbers will never add up.

Even the best processes lose their power and their efficiency if the people enacting them don’t genuinely care about what they are meant to produce.

If just one person lacks a caring mindset, the dominos start to fall. A bad apple can ruin the entire bunch.

Mindset influences how we think about things. It’s that little voice inside your head that guides everything you do and say. Having an open and caring mindset is an important facet of what makes us human.

Unfortunately, not everyone has a caring mindset. I bet you know someone who can’t be bothered to understand someone else’s point of view. Or someone who gives in only because they’ve given up. Or someone else who is always blaming everyone else, never taking responsibility.

Sounds ugly, doesn’t it? You can have the best systems in place, but if people don’t care, your organization – and everyone in it – will suffer.

I once heard a CEO comment that it was important to care about customers, but that first we need to care about each other. In other words, we all need a caring mindset to fire on all cylinders.

Without people, no amount of process will improve your quality.

When has pride pushed you back?

Pride exists at the organizational level and can just as easily become tainted.  Think about it.  How many times have you witnessed senior level executives not acknowledging a problem? The reason?  Pride.  Ego.  They don’t want to admit that there is a problem because of ego:  someone else will think they’re weak, or that they’ll lose face.  To admit your decision was wrong means you are weak, correct?  Absolutely the opposite!

Frances Hesselbein Medal for Excellence in Leadership and Service

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?

Recognizing Quality Innovation

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.

Do you work in a fake culture?

If you are not being true to yourself in all aspects of your life, you’re living in a fake culture. As a leader, a fake culture makes it impossible to develop a caring mindset. Without a caring mindset, you’ll never make a difference, or be the difference.