Tools for Team Leadership
Gregory E. Huszczo, Davies-Black Publishing, 2004, 300 pp., $28.95 (book).
Tools for Team Leadership: Delivering the X-Factor in Team eXcellence is a self-study training guide that describes Huszczo’s techniques and tools for developing successful teams and team leaders. The “X-Factor,” as he labels it, is an intangible element that drives teams to develop intensity and the ability to make the most out of their opportunities. He describes how leaders can analyze teams and provide feedback to make members more effective in accomplishing their goals. The main theme is that team leaders must help team members help themselves to success.
The book starts by helping the team leader discover his or her potential while discussing leadership traits and how they fall into play within the team. Huszczo then proceeds to describe how the leader can build the team into a cohesive group in which potential can grow.
The techniques discussed by Huszczo are not new, but how they are used and deployed is the key to success. The goal is to make the team function at a high level of performance.
This book would appeal to management at any level or in any discipline and to anyone involved in team leadership. I found it clear and understandable with many logical explanations and examples. The author speaks from experience and draws on his knowledge to make a point.
Astronautics Corp. of America
The Quality Improvement Glossary
Donald L. Siebels, ASQ Quality Press, 2004, 370 pp., $24 member, $30 list (book).
The Quality Improvement Glossary literally has everything about quality from A to Z. It is a glossary that contains more than 2,500 terms, concepts and acronyms. The list comes from Siebels’ own personal notes compiled over time and from various published sources.
For terms used within the quality profession, Siebels has used published definitions from ASQ and other technical handbooks. For terms outside the field of quality, he has defined them as closely as possible to generally accepted applications. The book does not provide an all-inclusive definition of the term or concept but rather is meant to give the reader an easily accessible format of the term or concept. For a more in-depth understanding, the author encourages the reader to consult various other publications.
This book is not just a list of terms; there are seven appendixes that are quite helpful, including a list of influential people in the quality field, quality acronyms, quality control formulas and symbols, a flowchart on choosing the correct statistical process control chart, common types of lines and symbols used on blueprints, a list of current quality related standards and a list of current national and state-by-state quality awards.
After reviewing the book, I found it helpful and informative. As the author explains, the book will be especially helpful to those new to the quality field and persons taking the various ASQ certification exams. Given the broad scope of the quality field today, I see this book as a useful resource to have on every quality professional’s bookshelf right next to the dictionary.
Dove Quality Consulting
The Good Corporate Citizen
Doris Rubenstein, John Wiley & Sons, 2004, 200 pp., $39.95 (book).
Thinking about quality processes and quality results related to corporate citizenship is one thing, but The Good Corporate Citizen supports action as a corporate citizen. The book provides background information and specific references for ongoing programs.
Readers explore philosophies, techniques, issues and qualitative methods supporting corporate citizenship in a free enterprise system. This is a reference guide for use in delivering successes through a corporate community citizenship program.
Offered as a practical guide, the book is definitely a useful resource. Though quality is a priority—in fact a given—the book is not a quality tools text. The focus is on corporate citizenship in organizations that place emphasis on quality. Quality thinking and acting are offered as frameworks by which the corporate citizen operates.
The Good Corporate Citizen is a specialized resource for a limited audience. The book is recommended to executives, leaders, corporate directors and managers within businesses. Executives of charities and public service groups will also find this book useful. The book is recommended to public and academic libraries, chambers of commerce and as a reference for courses and workshops.
Specialists in the quality field with responsibilities related to corporate citizenship programs need this book at hand. As a resource it will help position the quality specialist in the leadership of citizenship initiatives.
Brooks Carder and Patrick Ragan, ASQ Quality Press, 2005, 221 pp., $32 member, $40 list (book).
Measurement Matters: How Effective Assessment Drives Business and Safety Performance provides one of the few applications of quality principles to safety performance improvement I have seen. It seems to be aimed more at safety professionals than quality practitioners, but there is plenty of good information and insight for both specialties. Anyone assigned to help the safety department reduce incidents or injuries will find this book very instructive.
Carder and Ragan are firmly rooted in Deming’s teaching and give short summaries of his 14 points for management, the system of profound knowledge, the plan-do-study-act cycle and principles of measurement. The authors then look at typical measurement efforts used by safety management and how quality practices might be used to achieve improvement in various categories and systems. Investi-gation, audit and survey techniques are discussed and reviewed, all with a goal toward creating meaningful enhancements within the safety structure.
Each message is easy to understand, and every chapter is written in simple and concise language. Emphasized items are repeated and separated within the text. Key points and numerous references are summarized by chapter.
This book is an excellent starting point for applying quality techniques to safety improvement. Implementing these recommendations will cause a safety program to improve and become more disciplined and systematic in its efforts for continual improvement.
Marc A. Feldman
Solvay Chemicals Inc.
Permission To Forget
Lee Jenkins, ASQ Quality Press, 2004, 162 pp., $24 member, $30 list (book).
Permission To Forget: And Nine Other Root Causes of America’s Frustration With Education is a powerful book. It contains both an indictment of and a prescription for the nation’s education system. Jenkins offers constructive criticism of that system.
According to the author, there are many prominent causes of poor performance in the educational system. The root is inconsistency; whether in responding to research revealing a single weakness, causing a shift from grammar instruction to writing emphasis or focusing on a single reading method. The system suffers from many disorders.
There is a tendency to create pressures on teachers, students and parents, resulting in barriers to achievement. Measurement can also present a problem. Where educators do not understand statistical methods or introduce findings based on inadequate sample spaces and faulty application of statistical methods, false hypotheses are derived.
Jenkins presses for application of tools featured in other quality control systems with reliance on gauging progress and making periodic adjustments to move ahead.
Jenkins emphasizes a truly system oriented solution relying on Deming’s principles, where the goal of the educational system is clearly defined and adhered to a multiplicity of methods and fitted to the school population, rather than some national normality. In such a system progress is emphasized where changes must yield improvement. Administrators and teachers can benefit from the insights presented by Jenkins.
William F. Foster
- Six Sigma in Transactional And Service Environments,Hasan Akpolat, Gower Publishing, 2004, 160 pp., $84.95 (book).
- Unlocking the Power of Your QMS: Key Business Performance Improvement, John E. (Jack) West and Charles Cianfrani, ASQ Quality Press, 2004, 164 pp., $28 member, $35 list (book).
- Your Successful Project Management Career, Ronald Cagle, Amacom, 2005, 201 pp., $17.95 (book).