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Quality & You

I recommend this book.

Abolish your Quality Department

For decades now, we’ve made the Quality Department the epicenter of our quality policy. But has this attention been misplaced? My contention is that the reason we have failed...

Quality is Everyone’s Business

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...

Four Cornerstones for Change

Do you want to change your organization - to transform the rank and file members so that they WANT to achieve true Quality? Of course you do - who...

Are you driven by the culture of “Good Enough”?

Every day, we are faced with choices: a choice to do right or do wrong; a choice to do or do nothing; a choice to bear down and do...

The Quality Habit

Did you know that people have been trying to define “quality” for more than a thousand years? I found one of the earliest attempts by the Greek philosopher Aristotle...

I recommend this book.

Resistance to Compromise

In the food profession, Chantal Coady is a superstar. How did she get there? Chantel was never satisfied with anything until it was perfect—good enough was never enough. She...

What does Quality mean to You?

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...

I recommend this book.

I recommend this book.

Transform Your Organization through Quality

I use word “quality” as a proper noun; quality with a capital “Q”; because the effect of quality should not be limited to a policy or a set of...

What does your mission statement say about quality?

Entrepreneurs and managers will create mission statements in an effort to fix a goal for the entire organization. The most common way to build one is by stating a...

Redefine the Nature of Quality

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...

I recommend this book.

LEO Revisited: The benefits of “Listen, Enrich, Optimize”

I have mentioned “Listen, Enrich and Optimize” in previous articles and I'll probably mention them again. They are the main principles of my LEO methodology and they are integral to...

I recommend this book.

Empowering People Power

Several years ago, in an article entitled “In Pursuit of Excellence” for Personal Excellence magazine, Michael Jordan said that he always had the ultimate goal of being the best....

Empathy for Quality

There’s an old saying, “walk a mile in another man's shoes.” It means that before you criticize someone or pass judgment on them, you should take a look at...

Make Quality a Lifestyle Choice

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...

Quality & Economics

Whose political crisis is this, anyhow?

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...

Data, Action, and Future

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...

Subir Chowdhury Fellowship on Quality and Economics at Harvard University

Expanding the outreach of Subir Chowdhury's global call for quality throughout society - at all levels - a Fellowship on Quality and Economics has been established at Harvard University...

A Tale of Two Countries

Earthquakes in Haiti and Chile measured 7.0 and 8.8 respectively on the moment magnitude scale. The difference implies that the Chilean earthquake was 500 times stronger than the Haiti...

Where’s Your Talent?

The Challenger space shuttle disintegrated in mid-air, killing all seven astronauts. It was later found that a $900 O-ring was to blame. Years later, the Space Shuttle Columbia was torn...

A Moment of Truth for the Solar Panel Industry

I recently read a commentary in the New York Times (“Solar Industry Anxious Over Defective Panels”; May 25, 2013, link), and something sounded familiar. Solar panels that are expected to...

A Little Salmonella May Not Kill You, but it May Kill your Economy

After salmonella was discovered in a flavor-enhancing ingredient, a wide range of processed foods were recalled including soups, snack foods, dips and dressings, the result of poor quality control. ...

Cutting Corners

Over the last 50 plus years, Toyota has led the automotive industry in quality and cost. As a result, the company rose to become the world's largest automotive manufacturing...

Subir Chowdhury Fellowship on Quality and Economics at the London School of Economics (LSE)

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...

Quality & Process

Optimize for Perfection

An executive once emailed me a quote that reads: perfection is unknowable. I’m sure his source was Confucius or Zen teaching, but I also find this thought noted in...

Watch Your Flow, Keep Control

When I watch organizations, I am reminded of a swiftly flowing river. Starting with raw materials at the river’s source and ending with finished products or services flowing from its...

Ideas into Action

It’s one thing to inspire people to come up with ideas to improve the level of quality in your organization. It’s yet another thing to encourage those same people...

The Quality Process Revolution

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...

Power Up Talent

An executive from a company that makes electronic components complained to me that her workforce lacked the talent to move quality beyond the organization’s current level. “My people are simply...

Fire, Flow, Future

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...

Combating Fires

No matter where they occur, a fire can be a devastating event. When they happen around where we live, we rush to the location with manpower and equipment to...

Elements of People Power

People make judgments about quality every day: Fresh from the automotive body shop, a young man inspects the repair work on his car, carefully appraising the smoothness of the paint...

Walking and Talking Quality

I used to open our management meetings with a simple question: “Which makes more sense: invest time and energy to avoid problems or to solve them as they occur?” It’s...

Inspiring Talent

There has been a lot of media coverage about enormous salaries paid to top executives, including their mind-boggling “golden parachutes”. Primarily CEOs, these executives aren’t always paid based on...

Activate the Revolution

In some respects, the old way of managing the quality process is part of the problem. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the old approach to management...

How to Fix a Broken Chain

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...

Meet Your Future

Change is everywhere. In nature, change is an undeniable force. Even mountains succumb to the ever present, never diminishing force of change. Why in business should we expect any different? The...

The Wisdom of Listening

Even big and successful companies sometimes forget the importance of listening. Let’s face it. Problems come and go, but it’s how we deal with the problems that make us stand...

Enrich the Process

I was at a gas station and saw a sign that claimed that the fuel was “enriched” with a chemical additive that would make my car run cleaner and...

Quality & Me

Global Quality Awareness (GQA) Initiative

The Global Quality Awareness (GQA) Initiative is a non-profit initiative of the Subir & Malini Chowdhury Foundation created to improve the lives of individuals and their communities around the...

Impact of Quality of Learning

Modern economies depend heavily upon the distribution high quality education to members of our society. Without high-quality structured learning programs, not only are companies left without viable candidates to...

Center for Bangladesh Studies at UC Berkeley

The Subir & Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies at the University of California, Berkeley has an ambitious mission ahead. At the top of their list are innovative projects...

Maruti-Suzuki and the Quality Way

Quality is defined by the customer. It happens when we are willing to listen to each other, enrich our experiences, and optimize our opportunities to improve. Quality comes when...

I recommend this book.

Frances Hesselbein Medal for Excellence in Leadership and Service

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...

Valuable Trash

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...

The Subir Chowdhury Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Student Quality Competition

Beginning in 2013, the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Foundation will work with the SAE International and The SAE Foundation, the charitable arm of SAE International, to establish the Subir...

I recommend this book.

What is your difference?

In the past two decades, I have helped countless organizations improve their processes to find greater success. But over the years, something began to haunt me. I noticed that...

Recognizing Quality Innovation: The Subir Chowdhury Medal of Quality Leadership

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...

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A musician that made a difference

One of the most memorable days of my life was meeting my favorite musician, Pandit Ravi Shankar, the legendary Sitar Maestro. Nearly half a century earlier, George Harrison of The...

Who made the difference in your life?

I recently attended an event that included bestselling authors, and wildly successful business entrepreneurs. But this one young man stole the show for me, and helped me understand what...