Quality Management Articles and Blogs – February 2020

Welcome to February 2020 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

For the year 2020, we have chosen the core subject of Revisiting Basic Quality Concepts w.r.t. the sustained success of the organization We picked up

We will now take up the second dimension of the subject – The Sustained Success of Organization.

The concept of sustainable organization can keep dynamically evolving if the four fundamental questions that Sam Palimsano, former CEO of IBM has sop pointedly raised[1]

  • Why would someone work for you?
  • Why would someone invest their money with you?
  • Why would someone spend their money with you—what is unique about you?
  • Why would society allow you to operate in their region?

In  few basic steps, The Voyage of Sustained Success (for Businesses) maps the path to the sustained success –

In The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, authors Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and Kaley Warner Klemp share what the four most important predictors of success are[2].

  • Self-Awareness
  • Learning Agility
  • Communication
  • Influence

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies – James C Collins and Jerry L Porras – uncovers timeless fundamentals that enable organizations to endure and thrive. These are[3]:

  • Make the company the ultimate product – seeing products and market opportunities as vehicles for building a great company, not the other way around.
  • Build your company around a core ideology (core values and a sense of purpose beyond just making money) – A deeply held core ideology gives a company both a strong sense of identity and a thread of continuity that holds the organization together in the face of change.
  • Build a cult-like culture – around the core ideology If someone does not accept that ideology, then he/she does not belong to that culture, howsoever valuable he / she may be.
  • Home grow your management – as great companies grow up, we see continuity and order in management tenure and succession. Insiders preserve the core values, understanding them on a gut level in a way that outsiders usually cannot. Yet insiders can also be change agents, building on the core values while moving the company in exciting new directions.
  • Stimulate progress through BHAGs (Big Hairy Animal Goals), experimentation and continuous improvement – need to counterbalance its fixed core ideology with a relentless drive for progress. While core ideology provides continuity, stability, and cohesion, the drive for progress promotes change, improvement, innovation, and renewal.
  • Embrace ‘The Genius of The And’ – Truly visionary company embraces both ends of a continuum: continuity and change, conservatism and progressiveness, stability and revolution, predictability and chaos, heritage and renewal, fundamentals and And, and, and.

In The Idea of Ideas, Bob Galvin, former CEO of Motorola, wrote: “Change unto itself is essential. But, taken alone: it is limited. Yes, renewal is change. It calls for ‘do differently.’ It is willing to replace and redo. But it also cherishes the proven basics.”

Here’s a rapid-fire summary of Jim Collins’ famous first book, ‘Built to Last’ – How to Create Sustained Success” :

The linkage of the Sustained Success with the first part dimension of our present series – The Basic Concepts of Quality – is ISO 9004: 2018 – Quality management — Quality of an organization — Guidance to achieve sustained success.

ISO 9004 addresses the needs and expectations of all relevant interested parties and provides guidance for the systematic and continual improvement of the organization’s overall performance. This standard focuses on an organization’s sustained success, which is achieved if an organization[4]:

  • Meets the needs and expectations of its customers.
  • Has a balanced consideration of the needs of all its interested parties.
  • Effectively manages all its processes.
  • Is aware of its environment.
  • Learns.
  • Improves and/or innovates.

We will take up these basic concepts and see how they can be of help in the pursuit of the Sustained Success (of the organization).

[N.B. – Detailed note on The Sustained Success of an Organization can be read / downloaded by clicking on the hyper link.]

We will now turn to our regular sections:

In the series the Organizational Culture, we have attempted to look at ‘Organizational Culture – What It IS Not?’. We have briefly lined up differences of the Organizational Culture with terms – Organizational climate[5], organizational environment[6], employee engagement[7], national culture[8], societal culture[9], corporate culture[10], organizational context[11] etc. – which are used as synonyms in the common parlance

We now watch ASQ TV, wherein we look at a few relevant videos:

  1. The Standards Check In – A check in on the status of general standards revisions, plus new standards being published in 2020.

Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems posting for January, 2020 is:

  1. Quality Responsibility – Just who is responsible for quality? – Quality is not a grass roots methodology. Dr. W. Edwards Deming, a noted quality guru, said, “Quality starts in the boardroom.”… Dr. Feigenbaum’s “Quality is everybody’s job,” has been taken out of context because his message is purposely incomplete. What many don’t realize is that Feigenbaum intended his concept to be about establishing accountability for quality. Because quality is everybody’s job, it may become nobody’s job! The idea is that quality must be actively managed and have visibility at the highest levels of management…According to former U.S. Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, “Responsibility is a unique concept; it can only reside within a single individual. You may delegate it, but it is still with you. You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may disclaim it, but you cannot divest yourself of it. Even if you do not recognize it or admit its presence, you cannot escape it. If the responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else.”
  2. Discovery – Just because working through the obstacle might be a challenge doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you’re serious and committed, you’ll find a way, to absolutely make it happen…You were born to discover your own unique way through life’s endless possibilities. Your rewards for your efforts await, so what’s stopping you.

I look forward to your views / comments / inputs to further enrich the subjects of Basics of Quality and Organizational Culture and their role in Creating and Maintaining Sustained Success.

Note: The images depicted here above are through courtesy of respective websites who have the copyrights for the respective images.

[1] A New Definition of Sustainable Success – Rick Miller

[2] The 4 Great Predictors of Sustained Success – J D Meier

[3] Building Companies to Last  – James C Collins

[4] ISO 9004: Managing for the Sustained Success of an Organization

[5] Difference between Organisation Climate and Organisation Culture

[6] What is an Organizational Environment? – Definition & Theory

[7] Improving Company Culture Is Not About Providing Free Snacks

[8] National Cultures, Organizational Cultures, and the Role of Management

[9] Organizational Culture and Societal Culture

[10] Is There a Difference Between Organizational & Corporate Culture?

[11] Organizational Context = Culture


In July 2011, I opted to retire from my active career as a practicing management professional. In the 38 years that I pursued this career, I had opportunity to work in diverse capacities, in small-to-medium-to-large engineering companies. Whether I was setting up Greenfield projects or Brownfield projects, nurturing the new start-ups or accelerating the stabilized unit to a next phase growth, I had many more occasions to take the paths uncharted. The life then was so challenging! One of the biggest casualty in that phase was my disregards towards my hobbies - Be with The Family, Enjoy Music form Films of 1940s to mid-1970s period, write on whatever I liked to read, pursue amateur photography and indulge in solving the chess problems. So I commenced my Second Innings to focus on this area of my life as the primary occupation. At the end of four years, I am now quite a regular blogger. I have been able to build a few very strong pen-relationships. I maintain contact with 38-years of my First Innings as freelance trainer and process facilitator. And yet, The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

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