Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – May 2020

Welcome to May 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 As of now we have visited

We take up Risk Based Approach as our core concept this month–

The most prevalent change that the advent of 21st century has witnessed is the extremely dynamic rate of change. If change was the constant of later part of 20th century, it is almost becoming beyond human comprehension rapid rate of change that is becoming the new-normal with passing of every year of the present century. This rapid change is making what w=is already ‘known’ now ‘known unknown’. The uncertainty that this rapid rate of change ushers in creates the world around extremely fluid.

For our present purpose of “Revisiting the Basic Quality Concepts’ we will briefly look at two articles published in HBR – one in 1994 and the one in 2012.

The first article, A Framework for Risk Management  by Kenneth A. Froot, David S. Scharfstein, Jeremy C. Stein  (November–December 1994 Issue of HBR) is based on finance specific perspective of Risk.

The risk-management paradigm rests on three basic premises:

      • making good investments.
      • to making good investments by generating enough cash internally to fund those investments.
      • maintaining adequate cash flow

A risk-management program, therefore, should have a single overarching goal: to ensure that a company has the cash available to make value-enhancing investments.

By recognizing and accepting this goal, managers will be better equipped to address the most basic questions of risk management.

If we paraphrase the message of this article for the organization as whole, we understand that basic aim of risk management practices is to ensure that while maintaining its near and medium term operating parameters the organization should sustainably manage its competitiveness in the areas of its core competence, as relevant to its present and future context.

The second article, Managing Risks: A New Framework by Robert S. Kaplan and Anette Mikes (June 2012 Issue of HBR), places the risk in a more broader perspective .

The article presents a new categorization of risk.

Category I: Preventable risks.

Category II: Strategy risks

Category III: External risks

The article goes onto examine the individual and organizational challenges inherent in generating open, constructive discussions about managing the risks related to strategic choices. The authors argue that companies need to anchor these discussions in their strategy formulation and implementation processes.

The authors caution the organizational leadership by bluntly stating that  managing risk is very different from managing strategy.

Active and cost-effective risk management requires managers to think systematically about the multiple categories of risks they face so that they can institute appropriate several and collectively interactive processes for each.

An approach based on adherence to minimum regulatory standards and avoidance of financial loss creates risk in itself. In a passive stance, companies cannot shape an optimal risk profile according to their business models nor adequately manage a fast-moving crisis.

In conclusion, the article looks at how organizations can identify and prepare for non-preventable risks that arise externally to their strategy and operations.

A thought provoking paper – Value and resilience through better risk management by Daniela Gius, Jean-Christophe Mieszala, Ernestos Panayiotou, and Thomas Poppensieker –  at Risk Insight studies by McKinsey and Compony provides a specific actionable perspective  –

More rigorous, debiased strategic decision making can enhance the longer-term resilience of a company’s business model, particularly in volatile markets or externally challenged industries..

Organizations need to manage their operations such that investments in product quality and safety/ environmental or societal expectations standards adopted by it can bring significant returns. And enable processes that are less prone to disruption when risks materialize.

To achieve standing among customers, employees, business partners, and the public, companies can apply ethical controls on corporate practices end to end.

Building robust, effective risk management is three-dimensional project: 1) the risk operating model, consisting of the main risk management processes; 2) a governance and accountability structure around these processes, leading from the business up to the board level; and 3) best-practice crisis preparedness, including a well-articulated response playbook if the worst case materializes..

Having accepted that uncertainty is a constant in business, robust risk management can help companies adapt and thrive. How risk management can turn a crisis into an opportunity is a re[presentative case study that demonstrates how using risk management processes and structures to identify and mitigate a wide variety of risks, even when what arises is not one of the feared scenarios, the business will be in a stronger position to respond to crisis and grow.

Risk Based Thinking and the risk management are very actively debated and documented topics in the management academics and the practice.

In a limited span of our present view, we recognize that by recommending these two additional readings –

To conclude, every organisation should see risk-based thinking as an opportunity and a step in the right direction of attaining the sustained success.

[N.B. – Detailed note on Risk Based Approach 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 taken up  Organizational culture’s relationship with organization’s strategic direction. The critical message is that hat whatever form the relationship between organization’s culture and organization’s strategic direction shapes, in order to attain the sustained success, the culture and strategy should seamless aligned. .

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

  • Quality as Strategy – Greg Watson, ASQ past chair and ESTIEM professor, asks viewers if they believe there is, “a difference in having quality strategy or Quality as strategy?”

Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems posting for May 2020 –

  • Growth – It is natural to focus on our strengths and pretend our weaknesses don’t exist. To grow, however, requires that we admit where we’re weak and then work to strengthen those aspects of our life – personal and professional…Choose to embrace and engage those opportunities now while placed in front of us. Embrace these opportunities even though they may seem a little uncomfortable….And as we grow, the positive possibilities will grow even more superlative in our world.

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.

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – April 2020

Welcome to April 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 As of now we have visied

We take up Understanding Needs and Expectations of the Interested Parties as our core concept this month–

It is an undisputed fact that  the past, present and future course of organization’s strategic direction to attain sustained success is affected by the ever, rapidly changing issues within and around the organization and by the dynamic relationship of these issues with the organization have far reaching impact. Similar far reaching impact is also attributed to the needs and expectations of the interested parties from the organization and their intra-dynamics of relationships and the individual and collective dynamics of relationship(s) these multiple forces with the organization.

The classic definition of a stakeholder according to Freeman is “an organization… [or] any group or individual who can affect or be affected by the achievement of the organization’s objectives” [7]. While Freeman’s ground-breaking book “Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach” in 1984 started the wider discussion and elaboration of stakeholders and their importance, an earlier concept of stakeholders had already emerged in the 1960s. In 1963, academics at the Stanford Research Institute stated that a firm also needs to be responsible – in addition to shareholders – to a number of stakeholders without whose support the organization would cease to exist [5]. Some scholars have even proposed that the roots of stakeholder thinking dates as far back as the 1930s [8].[1]

The process or framework for identifying, understanding, monitoring and reviewing interested parties is normally matrixed in terms of:

  • Level of interest (Relevance)
  • Level of influence (Significance)[2]

In the power/interest matrix there are two important sets of questions to be assessed. According to the classification proposed by Johnson and Scholes, the question “If we were to pursue this strategy with disregard to the views of this particular stakeholder, could/would they stop it?” assesses the power of the stakeholder. The interests of the stakeholder is assessed with the questions “How high is this approach on their priorities?” and “Are they likely to actively support or oppose this approach, or will their interest be short-lived?” [32].

The power dimension indicates the level of influence a stakeholder has in either supporting or resisting a strategic initiative. Stakeholders may exercise their power in many ways, for example through a legal position, possession of knowledge and key resources or even informal networking with other decision makers. The interest dimension depends on how high a priority this strategy is. Interests can be open or hidden, which makes their assessment challenging. Interests may be based on a stakeholder’s anticipated economic gain, brand value or power position. The level of interest can be estimated by assessing whether a stakeholder has a long-term commitment to the strategy [32].

Table depicted here above shows power / interest matrix and the corresponding strategies according to stakeholders.

Another major challenge that an organization has to face is the conflict of interest among differing needs and expectations of the interested parties.

Conflict is a natural and healthy part of a group behavior. An engaging and inclusive process of resolution of the conflicts of interests of the different parties, as well as the conflicts of infested parties needs and expectations from an organization should yield win-win outcomes, wherein the feelings of having compromised one’s interests is replaced by the spirit of mutual collaboration.[3]

The 2012 changes in the ISO Management system standards have clearly mandated Understanding the Needs and Expectations of Interested parties as a key enabling input to the design, implementation and improvement of the relevant discipline management system standard.[4]

Whereas the specific discipline ISO Management system standards look at the understanding the needs and expectations of the interested parties from its relevance to the respective discipline, ISO 9004: 2018 – “Quality management – Quality of an organization – Guidance to achieve sustained success”. – views the impact of needs and expectations of the interested parties on the organization’s ability to achieve sustained success. This is the stage for an excellent review and the starting point to understand the potential depth of examination of who is most involved – from the point of view of the power and the interest – in the issues identified as having contextual relevance and influence on the organization’s purpose and strategic direction.

In as much as understanding the needs and expectations of the interested parties is a key ingredient to the process of planning for the sustained successor an organization, it is also a vital tool to help in the implementation of the process and a key enabler for checking the outcomes achieved on the continual journey for higher, sustained, success.. [5]

 [N.B. – Detailed note on Understanding Needs and Expectations of the Interested Parties 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 The Organizational Culture – Understanding the purpose of organization.. In its simplest form, purpose is the organization’s reason for being. It is a combination of vision, mission, and values.

We now watch ASQ TV, wherein we look at a recent video:

  • Navigating Through Change and Ambiguity– Matt Meuleners, Executive Partner at FOCUS Training, discusses change and ambiguity, and the best practices an organization can use to lead through ambiguity.

Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems posting for March 2020 –

  1. Why employees leave – Common Sense Management Can Reduce Employee Turnover-

There are a lot of reasons good employees leave, including:

    • Rude behaviour: Feeling mistreated is not an enticement for a good work environment.
    • Work-life imbalance: Increasing with economic pressures, organizations continue to demand that one person do the work of two or more people.
    • The job did not meet expectations: When a job to significantly vary from the initial description and what was promised during the interview stage,.it can lead to mistrust. When trust is missing, there can be no real employee ownership.
    • Job and the employee misalignment: Organizations should never hire employees unless they are qualified for the job and in sync with the culture and goals of the organization. Managers should not try to force a fit.
    • Feeling undervalued: Everyone wants to be recognized and rewarded for a job well done. It’s part of our nature. The most effective recognition is sincere appreciation.
    • Coaching and feedback lacking: Effective managers know how to help employees improve their performance and consistently give feedback to all employees.
    • Decision-making ability lacking: Organizations need employees to have ownership and be empowered! An organization should give employees latitude to do their jobs by placing trust in them; employees, in turn, should accept that responsibility and embrace that trust with enthusiasm.
    • People skills inadequate: Many managers were promoted because they did their jobs well and got results. However, that doesn’t mean they know how to lead. People skills can be learned and developed, but it really helps if a manager has a natural ability to get along with people and motivate them.
    • Organizational instability: Management’s constant reorganization, changing direction, and shuffling people around disconnects employees from the organization’s purpose. Employees don’t know what’s going on, what the priorities are, or what they should be doing.
    • Raises and promotions frozen: Studies have shown that money isn’t usually the primary reason people leave, but it does rank high when an employee can find a job earning more elsewhere. Organizations better pay competitive wages and benefits while making their employees feel valued! This is a critical combination.
    • Faith and confidence shaken: When employees are asked to do more and more, they see less evidence that they will ultimately share in the fruits of their labor. Employees know when a company is doing well and they expect to be treated as critical enablers of that success. Organizations need to stop talking about employees being their most important asset while treating them as consumables.
    • Growth opportunities not available: A lot of good talent can be lost if the employees feel trapped in dead-end positions. The most successful organizations find ways to help employees develop new skills and responsibilities in their current positions and position them for future advancement within the organization.

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] Understanding the Stakeholders as a Success Factor for Effective Occupational Health Care – Ari-Matti Auvinen

[2] “Interested Parties” and Their “Needs and Expectations”

[3]  Fundamentals of Sports Management, Pp. 14 – Robert E Baker, Craig Esherick . 2013

[4] Understanding needs & expectations of interested parties in ISO 9001:2015Mark Hammar

[5] Business Sustainability: Going Beyond ISO 9004:2018–  Alka Jarvis, Paul C. Palmes

The Organizational Culture – Understanding the purpose of organization

Credit: Are You Working For A Purpose-Driven Organisation? – – Amanda Chua

The Purpose of an organization is the fundamental reason why the organization exists.

The Purpose of an organization is not the answer to the question “What do you do?” This typically focuses on products, services and customers. To clarify, it should answer the question “Why is the work you do important?”

Employees should find the Purpose inspirational and motivational. To sum up, it is the cause that defines their contribution to society through work. Businesses exist to make a profit. But they also exist to make a difference. Through work, individuals can make a difference. They can be part of a meaningful legacy.


  • Is a contribution to society
    • Not a product or service
  • Answers the question: Why is this work important?
  • Is inspirational and motivational
  • Uses powerful words
  • Is brief in length
    • So employees will remember it
  • Is broad in scope
    • To allow for opportunities and change.[1]

In its simplest form, purpose is the organization’s reason for being.It is a combination of vision, mission, and values. In order to define the purpose, three questions need to be answered –

  • What is our vision? – This is an inspirational question, The purpose emerges from the vision.
  • What is our mission? – The mission is the what of an organization
  • What are our values? Neither vision or mission mean much if they are not reinforced by strong values. Values shape the culture

Defining purpose, if one does not already exist, is an exercise in leadership. It is a means by which an organization comes to grips with how it sees itself.

True purpose does not exist in a vacuum. It must be put to good use.[2]

The purpose needs to be defined at personal, workplace role and organizational level. The balanced fruition of these three critical areas can help create a sweat spot, the benefits of which are felt by employees, teams, the organization, customers, and perhaps most importantly, society too. [3]

When organizations embrace purpose, it’s often because a crisis forces leader to challenge their assumptions about motivation and performance and to experiment with new approaches. The framework suggested by the following eight essential steps should help to overcome the largest barrier to embracing purpose—the cynical “transactional” view of employee motivation

Credit: The Economics of Higher Purpose: Eight Counter-Intuitive Steps for Creating a Purpose-Driven OrganizationRobert E. Quinn, Anjan V. Thakor

The purpose is not just a lofty ideal; it has practical implications for organization’s financial health and competitiveness. People who find meaning in their work don’t hoard their energy and dedication. They give them freely, defying conventional economic assumptions about self-interest. They grow rather than stagnate. They do more—and they do it better.

By tapping into that power, you can transform an entire organization.[4]

If the organization’s purpose impacts the WHY, HOW and WHAT you do, its culture is THE way of activating and authentically living it. Not knowing the purpose, or knowing it half-baked, can probably help skate … for a while. But rest assured, eventually the competition will soar past you because they will be more in tune where demographic, customer and market forces are moving.[5]

Here are some interesting video talks on this subject:

Dr. Doug Lepisto, assistant professor of Management at Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business, shares his insights on the organizational effects of a higher purpose from his 21-month ethnographic study at a global athletic footwear and apparel company.

Business is about purpose: R. Edward Freeman at TEDxCharlottesville 2013 explains that purpose of business is to create value rather than to maximize profit

The role of “Purpose” in transforming business | Cheryl Grise | TEDxOxbridge  – Cheryl speaks about purpose being at the heart of a successful organisation’s existence in a connected, fast paced and complex world.

Purpose in Business: Measuring What Matters: Jill Bamburg at TEDxBGI  – Jill Bamburg talks about how to measure purpose in the context of business.

[1] What is an organization’s Purpose? – Shela Margolis

[2] Give Your Organization a Reason to Believe in Itself – John Baldoni

[3] The Purpose Effect – Dan Pontefract

[4] Creating a Purpose-Driven OrganizationRobert E. Quinn, Anjan V. Thakor

[5] Why Your Organization’s Purpose is Important to Your Culture – Rich Berens