Friday, June 22, 2007

Six Habits of Great Change Leaders

I receintly read the following in a weekly newsletter I receive and feel it is worth repeating and sharing:

Six Habits of Great Change Leaders

Leading change is particularly challenging for any leader. Here are some habits of great change leaders, and suggestions for putting these habits into practice in your organization.

1. Provide an Inspiring Mission and Clear Direction

Know the value of creating a mission and direction that everyone understands and can follow.

2. Hire the Best People

Top performance comes from top people. Work to hire the best people possible.

3. Build a Strong Leadership Team

Have a strong guiding coalition. It's virtually impossible to lead significant change on one's own.

4. Get Out of the Way

Communicate the company vision and direction clearly, ensure that people are committed, then empower people to take independent action and make decisions.

5. Communicate Regularly

Be visible when things are going well and then remain visible when times are bad.

6. Reward and Recognize the Right Performance

Great change leaders know that reward and recognition have to be consistent with vision and direction.

by Dr. Jane Adler and Dr. Robert Karlsberg, The CEO Refresher

Monday, June 18, 2007

My commitment

On May 1, 2007 at the ASQ Ideas to Action Gathering I committed to learning how to start a blog and then beginning to blog...this posting has fulfilled my initial commitment. Next step is to keep this up and share my thoughts on Quality.

I've marketed myself a Quality Professional for about 20 years now, yet I still wonder about the definition of Quality. When one of my children bursts into spontaneous laughter I see the Quality of my Life (and theirs), yet in that laughter I also note minor flaws...are his or her teeth straight for instance. So I've asked myself time and again what is quality...

Some say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder – So quality is perceived by individuals in their own way. This, I believe and accept as the true definition of is self defined.

According to Dr. W. Edwards Deming "Quality (control) does not mean achieving perfection. It means the efficient production of quality that the market expects". This, too, sounds reasonable, however, it is only referring to products and production. Not enough, what about service, what about quality of life?

Dr. Joseph Juran defined quality as "fitness for use". How do you use a flower? A perfect rose exhibits undefinable quality attributes but is it truly fit for use?

Phil Crosby said that quality is “Conformance to Requirements”. I ask, who defines the requirements? Answer - the user, therefore I go back to my earlier thought that Quality is perceived by the individual.

Many other definitions exist and if you review them you will find that they all seem to hover around this thougth of user perception.

So I will leave you for today with this thought...Quality is defined by you...when you interpret a specification you are defining the quality of the product as it should be, when you hold your child and he squeezes you back you are defining a quality of life equal to no other, when you accept a product or service you have accepted the producers perception of the product or service's quality, not your own perception unless the two match (and hopefully they do).