Every decade we seem to come up with a buzz-word to describe the things we should be doing right all the time. Forever we have heard our parents or grandparents use little phrases to get our attention. "If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right? Or "Never enough time to do it right, but always making time to do it over." Quick quotes like these and there must be a hundreds of different ones which all lead to the same thing. In the 1980's and early 1990's it was TQM or Total Quality Management. Deming and Peters harped on this like there was no tomorrow. Then later on we had the Six Sigma by GE and the Jack Welsh crowd of executives and remember the ISO 9000 series of quality and perfection. Now then let's get back to; TQM Total Quality Management, the book. If you have not read it, then you should because you can buy it at any garage sale for $1.00 or at a used book store for $4-5 dollars. Amazon has tons of used ones for sale as well. Make sure you buy the right book, as there must be 100 or more books on that subject:
Total Quality Management-Strategic Planning, By Stephen George and Arnold Weimerskirch. 1994 Book
This book talked about Quality Management and benchmarking in manufacturing. I find its content way out dated and fear for any company using these principles today, but I fear worse for any company not striving for the concepts that are discussed. You should read the book for sure, no doubt, but conceptually, not verbatim. Things move much faster now business.
I believe a CEO of any company ought to already know all aspects of the business and not need to be involved in all this observation and planning, but I fear they do not, as we keep seeing executives take unnecessary risks and short cuts, which all too often end up biting them in the butt. I would say that the time process and the steps used in this process are too numerous and time consuming to keep up with the reality of today's modern business when it has to be there yesterday or in real time, however your parents and grandparents were right and you should sweat the small things and details.
All the committees, referees, tour guides, management etc. it is a wonder how anything got done. This is why the computer industry with novice management was able to literally blow the doors off these large companies in bringing products and innovation to market so fast. It is because they skipped the vary steps outlined in this book. It is also a reason for lower profits at these large institutional type companies; too much organizational overlay in the way to accomplish the tasks at hand. Many of the companies listed as great quality Management achievers of yesterday, are today, as in this year laying off 1000s of people, some are totally gone or merged. It was interesting to read the WSJ for the prior decade and all the companies who excelled at this TQM thing are getting a lesson in sector rotation and making earnings warnings. They got too big for their own britches. Committees, meetings, plans, strategic plans, bench marking, objectives, time schedules, supervisor meetings, advisory councils, strategic objectives, paper work, etc.
It is almost unbelievable that we now have 10s of 1000s of managers who still think this way in their 50s and 60s running these companies. They need to move out of the way of progress, they are what is wrong with America and what will keep American companies from competing in the global arena. This does not mean you should forgo quality, it means you should focus on the skill sets and details and know the plays you ran in practice and run for goal line. Thank god no one on our team or my companies were ever buried in such minutia. I see many of our competitors that are large companies making the same mistakes in this book.
Do not get me wrong, TQM although just a buzz word stands for something, but in the end you must Keep It Simple Stupid; KISS. So with that said if you have not read the book, you need it on your business shelf and you should read it for a concept of thinking necessary to do it right, but also realize most importantly you must "Just Do It," and get it done.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs