Creating a Culture of Quality With Dr. Irani–Roundup

Last month, I shared a video of my conversation with Tata Group’s Dr. J.J. Irani. Irani is a truly enlightened quality leader, and I was not surprised that the ASQ Influential Voices shared unwavering respect for the Tata Group’s role as a world quality leader.

To put it colloquially, in the words of blogger Jennifer Stepniowski, “The Tata Group is awesome!” As Jennifer notes, Tata provides an excellent example of corporate best practices.

How can we help bring enlightened leadership to all organizations? The ASQ Influential Voices shared their thoughts. Guy Wallace, for instance, argues that more collaboration is necessary to improve quality and better serve shareholders. This requires being quick, effective, and efficient in meeting the needs of customers and stakeholders.

On a similar note, Robert Mitchell states that the quality community needs to demonstrate the relationship between quality and social responsibility, and quality experts need to collaborate with executives and managers to increase awareness among business leaders.

Matthew Heusser cites key points made by Irani: organizations need aligned values to gain trust, and companies are obligated to give back to the communities in which they operate.

Cesar Diaz Guevara discusses Irani’s views of “Big Q” and “Little Q,” and notes that while the product and its quality (“Little Q”) can change over time, the quality of management (“Big Q”) must be the DNA of the organization.

Dr. Robert Burney applies the concepts of “Big Q” and “Little Q” to the healthcare industry. He echoes Irani’s sentiment about “Big Q’s” importance in a company: “If you have Big Q in place, other things will follow.”

Indeed, the emphasis on quality must come from the highest-level management, writes Chris Hermenitt. There must first be a strategy for quality, he writes, then execution and, throughout, communication of the company’s quality strategy to all levels of employees.

Dennis Arter brings up an interesting point: he notes that Irani puts the supplier first instead of the customer, compared to the way the phrase is typically worded. Dennis provides a few possible explanations for Irani’s word choice.

As an employee of Tata Consultancy Services, Rajan Thiyagarajan offers a personal perspective, writing about opportunities that he is presented to get involved with CSR at the company, as well as how deeply rooted the quality culture is in Tata and its employees.

Finally, Anshuman Tiwari, who has met Irani, writes about Tata’s history with quality. He recalls the late 1980s, when Irani and Rusi Mody decided to build a culture of quality. Anshuman describes Irani’s decisions to adopt Juran’s principles and then the Baldrige program as the milestones that turned Tata into a “rock star company.”

As quality professionals, let’s work to make our organizations and communities into quality “rock stars.” And like rock stars, let’s raise our voice worldwide.

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