August Roundup–Building a Culture of Quality

Quality culture. It’s a topic much-discussed in the quality community. How can we encourage it? Create it? Sustain it? Where does quality culture come from? How does it go wrong? If it does, what can be done?

I blogged about quality culture last month, and ASQ’s Influential Voices tackled this topic with a lot of interest and occasional pessimism.  For a lot of us, building a quality culture hits close to home. The Influential Voices also weighed in on the importance of feelings–those emotions we feel about beloved products and brands–to consumer loyalty and the brand experience.

Before I delve into their posts, I’d like to welcome two new bloggers to the Influential Voices: Dr. Michael Noble (Making Lab Quality Relevant) and Don Brecken (The Quality Advisor). Both are currently blogging about quality—Dr. Noble frequently writes on medical lab quality and standards, while Don, an ASQ fellow, covers a variety of topics from the quality field. I’m looking forward to reading their posts. In the meantime, here’s a roundup of the August discussion.

The value of feelings: Nicole Radziwill says that being in a quality culture is like being in love—which may sound extreme, but think of the “love” you may very well feel for your new iPad or Mac! Aimee Siegler notes that you can’t teach someone to be passionate about their job or quality culture—you have to inspire it. And Sameer Chougle writes that emotional intelligence and teamwork are important qualities in a quality culture.

Emotion:  “A good measure of Quality Culture is how many genuine smiles we see on the faces of everyone in the chain and on the faces of the client,” writes Cesar Diaz Guevara.  Rajan Thiyagarajan writes that there’s a certain “magic” in a culture of quality.

Logistics: Deborah Mackin blogs about the value of habits to creating a quality culture. Bob Mitchell writes about the value of trust. Guy Wallace encourages us to pursue systems thinking when building a culture of quality. Dr. Robert Burney writes that shared beliefs are key to building a quality culture. Tim McMahon outlines five vital points necessary to creating a culture of quality.

Real-life examples: Manu Vora shares real-life examples of good and bad quality cultures that he has experienced. Jimena Calfa interviews an expert in creating quality cultures—Lean Six Sigma consultant Christian Paulsen. John Priebe suggests questions to ask yourself when creating a quality culture (“Are we producing products that meet requirements and create value?”). Negris Soylemez writes that creating a quality culture is easier in some environments than others—for example, in healthcare. Jennifer Stepniowski writes about quality cultures at companies such as LEGO and Apple.  

Hiring: Anshuman Tiwari blogs on how he decides whether a job applicant is a good fit for a quality culture. Daniel Zrymiak also outlines a thorough guide to hiring quality candidates that would thrive and create a quality culture.

Challenges: Is quality culture a thing of the past? “I don’t see most senior executives in the USA having any interest in a quality culture,” writes John Hunter. Scott Rutherford argues that a quality culture can be created by a “dream team”—and dissolves when members of that team leave or move on.

Cultural perspective: In Hong Kong, “leaders seldom mention quality or quality culture, but most of them emphasize sustainability, environment and energy saving,” writes Dr. Lotto Lai.

Remember the customer: David Levy writes that making good products that generate revenue is really at the heart of what we call a quality culture. And Kerrie Anne Christian defines quality culture as serving the customer’s needs in a way that the customer wants.

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One Response to August Roundup–Building a Culture of Quality

  1. John Hunter says:

    Quite a few good thoughts provided this month by the bloggers in my opinion. I imagine people have trouble finding the time to read through so many posts, but there are quite a few ideas that may reward the time you spend.

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