Quality management - an essential tool for survival, sustainability and growth.
Success in business is all about passion. Whether you are running your own business, climbing the corporate ladder, innovating new products or delivering essential services, it is your passion that drives you to greater heights. It lifts you above those middle-muddlers who simply turn up and turn the handle.
So what are you passionate about? Is it the money, the power, the status? These are more addictions than passions. They have a dangerous dark side.
Or is it the quality that motivates you? Are you driven to supply better products, services, solutions and interactions with your customers and stakeholders? If so, how do you ensure that everyone else shares your passion or at least follows the good practices and learns the lessons that you know will deliver quality?
The answer is to instil a systematic approach based on collective wisdom and collaborative effort. Engage your colleagues and other stakeholders in an exercise to work out “what are we trying to achieve and what’s the best way of ensuring we succeed?”
When you’ve answered that question, you will have a common goal and a shared understanding of what quality means for your business. Inevitably this will include elements of survival, sustainability and growth.
Whatever your definition of quality, you can be sure that it won’t manage itself. If you have good people, they will try to manage their own quality in their own unique way. The only way to manage quality consistently, efficiently and with joined-up thinking is to design a bespoke system that manages the inputs, processes and outputs that produce your definition of quality.
Let’s debunk some myths about quality management systems. They are not about procedures, audits, records and ISO certificates. These do have their place, but they are tools not goals. The goal is always to improve your product and service quality. In order to do this, you need to survive, sustain and grow. A quality management system helps you to meet all of these challenges.
A good quality system helps you to survive even when times are tough. Designed sensibly, it will describe the way your organization works in normal and abnormal situations. It will help you to manage risks, changes and emergencies, including contingency planning for potential disasters, e.g. fire, flood, product recall, cyber attack or pandemic. We have all been forced into a new way of working by COVID-19, but was your quality system designed with this flexibility in mind?
Increasingly, we want to run our organisations in sympathy with planet earth and Mother Nature. It felt like 2019 was already a tipping point in the politics and commerce of climate change. But in 2020 the experiment of remote working in the COVID-19 pandemic may turn out to be the proof we needed that sustainability is sustainable. You can embed sustainability principles and practices directly in the processes of your quality system. Live your values through your quality system. One company, one system.
Big business tends to think about growth in financial terms, but for many SMEs, including consultancies like QFactorial, growth is more about innovation, creativity and the hands-on challenge of doing something new. Many leaders fear that a quality system will stifle initiative, slow innovation and inhibit the agility on which they have built their reputation. It’s true that many legacy systems suffer these drawbacks due to their standardised design. But a well-designed, modern quality system is flexible, scalable, cloud-based, mobile and automated. That’s the kind of system you need to support business growth.
Has your business reached that point where more structure and process is needed as a platform for survival, sustainability or growth? Talk to QFactorial about developing a business management system that works for the business and evolves with the business.
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