Sunday, August 26, 2012

Awards or no Awards? Need for a system that promotes organizational excellence

This is response to question posted in ASQ CEO’s blog

With 62 years of Deming Prize history in Japan, and 25 years of Baldrige history, and similar histories of programs around the world, why is enterprise quality, or enterprise excellence if you prefer, still the exception rather than the rule?

Excellent question. There is no simple answer to this.

Lack of long-term thinking, lack of quality culture, lack of systems thinking, 20th century thinking in global economy are still persistent in several organizations that are preventing these organizations to achieve and sustain organizational excellence.

Awards such as Baldrige definitely contributed to the organizational excellence and transformed the way managers think, feel, and act. 

There are serious shortcomings with these awards that must be addressed. Here are few recommendations to make Baldrige program work in the global economy.

·      Eliminate individual award system - Deming’s philosophy does not support individual awards or individual performance evaluation. Baldrige award culture contradicts Deming’s philosophy. Eliminate award culture.

·      Encourage continuous improvement  - The Baldrige program for organizational performance excellence should promote continuous improvement culture and not award culture. Promote continuous improvement culture.

·      Knowledge sharing – Promote knowledge sharing culture through Baldrige program. Encourage organizations to use Baldrige program for self-assessment and improvement.

·      Stakeholder focus - Government or Awards do not define quality. Customers of products and services define quality. Encourage organizations to share their performance excellence stories with stakeholders including customers.

·      Systems thinking – Include stakeholders (Employees, Managers, Suppliers, Customers, Board of Directors, Government, and Suppliers) in the continuous improvement effort. Everyone is responsible for quality. Educate management on longer-term thinking and not short term thinking.

·      Learning – Promote national or international performance excellence summits to specifically focus on sharing successes and lessons learned by organizations that use quality improvement programs such as Baldrige program. Provide appreciation certificates and not awards to all participants. Don’t include any programs that involve awards or certification or accreditation to avoid conflicts of interest.

·      Provide consulting assistance – Spend effort in assisting businesses to use Baldrige program to identify improvement opportunities. Volunteers that serve on the Baldrige program are great resources to assist with consulting.

·      Cost of Quality - Spend money wisely. Don’t spend money on awards. Spend money on education and training.

o  Spend money on providing educating and training small businesses to implement and improve quality management practices.

o  Spend money on providing scholarships to students pursuing education in quality management. These educated students (Future work force) will be instrumental in promoting quality culture within the organizations leading to improved organizational excellence and performance.

·      Globalization – With federal budget cuts, Baldrige program is no longer a national program. Consider expanding the scope of the program to include all businesses that conduct business with the US.

·      Innovation – Encourage innovative processes, methods, tools, and techniques to implement continuous improvement programs such as Baldrige. NIST can collaborate more with ASQ, educational institutions, organizations, and industry leaders to promote innovation in implementing Baldrige program for organizational performance excellence.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Quality Culture

This is response to questions posted in ASQ CEO’s blog

1. What is corporate culture?

Corporate culture of an organization is organization’s shared values, beliefs, principles, guidelines, expectations, anticipations, behaviors, collective memories, norms, attitudes, assumptions, and perceptions.

2.  What is culture of quality?

Culture of quality consists of –

ð  Systems Thinking
ð  Stakeholder focus
ð  Continuous improvement
ð  Learning and growth
ð  Team work
ð  Creativity & Innovation
ð  Ethics

3. If you’re working on a culture of quality, or sustaining one, what do you look for in the people you hire into the organization? 

When you hire people into the organization, the most important thing that you need to consider is organizational cultural alignment and fitment. In today’s highly competitive world, organizations that strive for performance excellence are looking for people who have excellent competencies (skills, knowledge, experience, attitude, and aptitude) and those people who can fit into the organization very well. 

4. How can you tell whether an applicant will contribute to, thwart, or work at quality culture goals? 

Behavioral based interviewing techniques can be helpful to find out whether an applicant will contribute to, thwart, or work at quality culture goals.

Behavioral based interviewing through leading questions can be used to evaluate the competencies (skills, knowledge, experience, attitude, and aptitude) required to perform the job and fitment with the organization.

5. What attitudes support the success of a culture of quality?

ð  Passion
ð  Character
ð  Persistence
ð  Perseverance
ð  Adaptability
ð  Agility
ð  Trust
ð  Empowerment
ð  Open and Effective communication
ð  Ethical behavior (Honesty, Morality, Integrity, Responsibility, Accountability)
ð  Dedication
ð  Commitment 
ð  Leadership
ð  Customer driven
ð  Collaboration
ð  Fact based and Data driven decision making
ð  Compassion
ð  Desire to learn
ð  Focus on value creation and results

6. Are the personal attributes universal, or do they in your experience differ around the world?

Each person is different and personal attributes are unique to each person. Personal attributes can be changed through training, education, and experience.

7. When you’re in a culture of quality, how does it feel? Or, how do you feel? What are the feelings you associate with a culture of quality?

ð  Proud
ð  Confidant
ð  Happy
ð  Motivated