For a long time know I've heard many organizations discuss transitions to a Safety Culture, a Quality Culture and Customer-centric Culture, etc. Every discussion seems to be the same. We want to change the way we act, perform, think to _______ (fill in the blank). In my opinion, these cultural changes are only required because we've developed inherent weakness in the way we conduct business. A company, any company is in business for one purpose - to make money for it's stakeholders / shareholder. To do this we must provide a service or product that meets our customer's needs and expectations. To do this we must produce that product or develop and deliver that service. I be successful, the level of quality must satisfy the customer. We must also operate in a safe manner to protect our personnel.
So by definition and extention, to be in business we must deliver quality products or service and do what we do safely. So why do we need to 'develop a _____ (again, fill in the blank) culture when that should be inherent in what we do. Okay, to answer my own question, we need a culture transition because we've strayed from the original path and we must right ourselves.
So why does the transition to the right path have to be painful (make us feel uncomfortable). I believe it is because we reach a level of comfort that does not allow for achieving the overall goal...making money by satisfying our customers.
That said, let me now address one of Paul's questions:
"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 I am hiring into my team I look for people that meet the job criteria, with personalities that fit the personality (culture) of the organization, that I believe will stick around for an extended period of time and for people with whom I can work comfortably and succesfully. This applies regardless of the perceived culture of the organization. I most instances I am also considering succession planning when hiring. Is this person capable of moving up through the organization and, if hired into the right position, eventually becoming my replacement. I guess all of this means, does the person fit the culture of the organization now.