Four Questions: Creating a Culture of Quality with Dr. J.J. Irani

As long as I have been associated with quality, I heard the phrase “quality starts at the top.” And most often the next sentence is something like, “I need help getting the message to the C-Suite.” Executives need to understand what modern quality is and the essential role they have to play.

But who do executives listen to? And how are they influenced? Executives do a lot of listening, but they are busy people and have a lot coming at them; so it’s hard to get their attention long enough to have an impact. Executives do listen to executives, so I’m always excited when I find an enlightened leader. Someone who gets it, who understands modern quality and the leader’s role. Someone like Dr. J.J. Irani.

Dr. J. J. Irani spoke at ASQ’s 2011 World Conference on Quality and Improvement on May 17, and was gracious enough to afford us a short interview. Dr. Irani was in the C-Suite of Tata Sons, based in India, as the Managing Director of Tata Steel for nearly a decade, and then on the Board, before his retirement in June 2011. His insights and wisdom are well worth listening to. I invite you to watch a series of brief video interviews of our conversation.

Creating a Culture of Quality:

The Tata Business Excellence Model:

Commitment to the Community and Social Responsibility:

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program

I think you’ll find Dr. Irani’s comments enlightened and enlightening. I did. I find hope in the wisdom of Dr. Irani , and ask myself—and you—how can we, you and I, and ASQ, raise the voice of Dr. Irani and other enlightened leaders to put quality in its rightful place in every organization and in our communities?

I’m grateful that Dr. Irani made the trip to Pittsburgh to share his wisdom. Let’s learn from him and his insights.

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