Quality, Wherefore Art Thou?
The Bottom Line Benefits Of Participation
JCPenney Spells Out A Method For Success
There is a time to let things happen - and a time to make things happen.
Pamela Spears of the JCPenney Regional Catalog Distribution Center in Columbus, Ohio, has been making things happen with a quality team process for a number of years and has developed training for five divisions of the company.
She contends that while most organizations have quality
teams and quality principles, the unfortunate reality is that many teams
fail. The reasons for the failure are many, and as Spears believes, "Too
often a decision is made to begin a quality process without considering
the resources needed to ensure the success of the process."
Through her method teams are evaluated based on a specific
set of standards. Productivity, accuracy and process are all measured. These
are standards that define expectations.
Spears points out that learning occurs best when teaching is "fun-damental." She points out that the learning process needs to be made fun or learning might not happen. Games, skits, music and videos are all elements that will help make the classes fun and exciting, and at the same time help the participants to remember the material.
In addition to listening - questioning, conflict reduction and improving relationships are all part of effective feedback. Studies show that 80 percent of our waking hours are spent communicating, and 45 percent of that time is spent listening. It is often cited as the most critical of all management skills, yet Spears believes, "Most individuals are ineffective listeners. We often comprehend and retain only one quarter of what is said."
Role Models help set a standard for the team. Living the quality standards is tremendously important to the strength of the team and the organization. Role models provide the necessary hope for teams to continuously improve, help energize the organization and provide recognition for important accomplishments, while at the same time helping to show that individuals are a valuable resource.
What we think so often shapes what we become. For a team
to be successful, it needs to have a positive vision of where it wants to
be. The team members who dream and envision a positive result in their efforts
will find themselves acting accordingly. Using this technique requires desire,
commitment and practice. It requires discussing the dreams with others and
then following through on making the dreams a reality.
Spears reflects that the process she enthusiastically endorses has much to do with attitude, and that nothing excellent has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.
The words of a wise philosopher perhaps said it best: "You
think, and inevitably you become."