164th Management Improvement Carnival

I’m happy to host the 164th Management Improvement Carnival on View From the Q this month. What’s the Management Improvement Carnival? It’s a monthly feature hosted by ASQ Influential Voices blogger John Hunter where he or a guest collects and discusses interesting, timely articles on quality, improvement, innovation–you name it.

Thank you to John for allowing me to host and participate in the community discussion! (Check out another Management Carnival recently hosted by fellow ASQ Influential Voice Nicole Radziwill. ) Let’s jump to the articles for discussion:

Culture of Quality: “I am surprised at how many organizations don’t recognize the importance of sharing with others their success,” writes Quality Doc, the blogger behind Making Medical Lab Quality Relevant. Are many organizations secretive about their success and if so—why? Quality Doc writes: “Reporting and promoting success is a critical part of the culture of quality.”

Another “quality culture” topic comes from blogger David M. Kasprzak of My Flexible Pencil. David discusses the office “supply chain.”  Why do we go back to “suppliers” (vendors, employees) who fail us? This was a popular article on ASQ’s Twitter, and seems to be a common problem.

Employee Engagement: This New Yorker piece brings an interesting glimpse into the hiring and training policies at the Japanese clothing manufacturer Uniqlo, which “hires a lot of people, and spends a lot of time training them.” Article conclusion: more full-time workers and better, more intense employee training can equal success for retailers.

Training and Learning: Speaking of training, Kevin Meyer of the Evolving Excellence blog writes about the purpose of knowledge in the 21st century. Should we specialize in one subject, or should we know a lot about a lot of topics? I’m curious about what quality professionals think.

Innovation and Manufacturing: What does innovation look like in a tradition-based industry of matzo manufacturing? What lessons can we learn about innovation in a challenging field? The Manufacturing Innovation blog discusses a recent New York Times article on two matzo producers: Manischewitz and Streit’s.

Email Management: This Fast Company article discusses email overload and tools that help organize the deluge (for example, “activity streams” that file emails by topic). For another look at controlling email, read the March QP cover story on how one company got email under control.

Making Quality Fun: Finally, I’m always delighted to see the creative and unique posts produced by the Minitab blog, Statistics and Quality Improvement. In April, Minitab featured topics like the NFL draft, Titanic survival rates, and, perhaps my favorite, Designing Experiments with Gummi Bears. Yes, Gummi bears. What a way to make statistics and quality fun, creative, and topical!

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5 Responses to 164th Management Improvement Carnival

  1. Thanks for including me in this edition of the roundup! Blogging is a great pursuit if, for no other reason, that it keeps you humble. The posts that you spend weeks thinking about go nowhere. The ones that you whip together off the cuff, get a lot of attention. This thoughts on going back to unfixable resources was one of those that just came together as I dealt with a chronic frustration. I used to think the lack of change was due to others’ faults. I’ve come to realize those things that never seem to change are really a result of my inability to find the things that will influence the situation well.

    People respond to different things. For some it is anger, or logic, or charm, or trust, or…or…or…or who knows what? The person I am attempting to influence rarely, if ever, will swap out his or her personality. Personality is a psychological building block. It’s hard to change something that fundamental. The tactics we use to perceive and utilize that personality, however, can be much more easily adjusted.

  2. Many thanks for including me in your carnival of voices. It is great to see an active and vocal community of like minded people engaged in conversation. One can study the effectiveness of organizational Quality in all sorts of different ways. One characteristic regularly jumps out as being associated with ongoing successful implementation and application. Groups that talk together and are regularly engaged (even when they hold differing points of view) are more likely to sustain their enthusiasm and commitment. Groups that find impediments are more likely to fail.

    So many thanks to being an initiator and contributor to the ongoing conversation on Quality.

    Michael Noble

  3. Ian DeWeerd says:

    Great articles and blog posts! I think the carnival should be a recurring feature on this blog! Keep up the good work!

  4. Thanks so much for including me in the carnival. I was happy to host it on my site a little while back, too.

    There is always a need to re-think our way of defining a problem. We often kid ourselves into thinking that something we’ve tried to resolve before can finally be resolved this time, with a new approach.

    After a while, however, you might see that the effort expended to move the person/company.group/thing into place isn’t attainable – there’s just not enough horsepower in the world to move that obstacle. So, perhaps finding a way to work with it (which is different than work around it) is they key.

    Is there any easy way to do that? No, not really. But a change in mindset will enable new perceptions, making new ideas on working through the problem more accessible.

  5. business says:

    Though most writers trace the quality movement’s origins to W. Edward Deming, Joseph M. Juran and Philip B. Crosby, the roots of quality can be traced even further back, to Frederick Taylor in the 1920s. Taylor is the “father of scientific management.” As manufacturing left the single craftsman’s workshop, companies needed to develop a quality control department. As manufacturing moved into big plants, between the 1920s and the 1950s, the terms and processes of quality engineering and reliability engineering developed. During this time productivity was emphasized and quality was checked at the end of the line. As industrial plants became larger, post-production checks became more difficult and statistical methods began to be used to control quality. This was called reliability engineering because it moved quality control toward building quality into the design and production of the product. Taylor was the pioneer of these methods. Although some writers consider Taylor’s methods part of classical management in opposition to the quality management system, both Deming and Juran both used statistical methods for quality assurance at Bell Telephone laboratories.