Building People: The “Servant Leadership” Management Model

waiter “Miss Jab-a-lot”

“Psycho-boss”

“<insert boss’s first name here>, the Impaler”

“Soul Drainer”

These are just a few of the unflattering names disillusioned employees give to their oppressive supervisors. There are many more names and some which can’t be printed here. Just Google “mean names for bad bosses” and you get almost 2.3 million results.

So, when you hear the term “servant leader” it might as well be “alien life form.”  It is such a strange management concept. A business leader who has a servant’s attitude? Huh? Run that by me, again?

In Vic Sassone’s article titled, “Servant Leadership” and found at the Baldrige Resource Library (www.baldrigeresourcelibrary.com), just such a concept is explored (and with diagrams, even.) I was familiar with the concept but had never read any articles about it other than those found in Christian or religious publications.

So, when I found this article on Baldrige Resource Library’s site, I had to read the title  twice. As someone who has experienced strong and weak management, the topic intrigued me. What exactly does a “servant leader” look like, anyway?

Sassone not only describes a servant leader but, by the end of the article, he makes you wish you had known one or brings back nostalgic feelings for the one you had. More importantly, he tells you how you can become one.

According to Sassone, there are two keys to being a servant leader:

The key for me is the assertion that a servant leader is about growing people. I like to rephrase Greenleaf’s definition by saying that servant leadership is a style of leadership based on motivating, directing and transforming others by attempting
to meet their spiritual and physical needs.

By spiritual needs, I mean that part of us that longs for inspiration, challenge
and encouragement. And, by physical needs, I mean the collection of skills, knowledge and resources that equip us to perform and excel in a chosen endeavor.

“Growing people” can be defined as “the values, attitudes, and behaviors that are necessary to intrinsically motivate one’s self and others so that they have a sense of spiritual well-being through calling and membership and, ultimately, become more organizationally committed and productive.”

As you keep reading, you will hit on one strong and little-used word outside of religious circles: Calling. As a servant leader your “calling” is creating a vision for other managers and employees with trust and loyalty toward an expectation of a reward through excellence. Your “calling” isn’t a power game or some clever goal-setting, at all. It’s so much deeper than that.

Lest you think this all sounds kind of existential, let’s look at what, unfortunately, passes for management in some quarters:

  1. incompetence (unable to explain company procedures, blame games, pretense)  
  2. lack of ethics (taking credit for an employee’s or colleague’s work)
  3. dishonest communications (closed-door meetings, “gotcha” emails, gossip)
  4. showing favoritism (cronyism, hiring inexperienced or unqualified managers) 
  5. hypocrisy (having one set of rules for management and one for employees)
  6. arrogance (never admitting to mistakes) 
  7. procedure over common sense (thick manuals filled with rules and procedures which are difficult to remember or practice) 
  8. ineptitude (managers who are unable to perform their duties correctly)
  9. divisiveness (pitting management against employee, i.e. “power games”)
  10. micromanagement (hovering over employees, reviewing/creating employee schedules, setting unrealistic goals)

Too often managers (CEOs, Middle Managers, Supervisors, etc.), abuse their position and think of their employees as “servants”.  They and their cronies look at employees under them as “subjects” who have to “ruled”. In this type of destructive atmosphere, morale plummets, performance suffers and employees leave.

As someone who has seen all of the above played out in the workplace, I would have welcomed a “servant leader”.  A CEO or manager who took their vision and viewed it as a calling and then encourages and equips their employees to own that vision goes a long way in the sometimes-imperious world of management.

Sassone lists several ways a servant leader can do that. All of them are realistic and relevant, but one, in particular, stood out to me:

Leaders are people builders. They help people to grow because the leader realizes that the more people grow‚ the stronger the organization will be. 

If you ever want to be a manager or you’re a manager now, please read this article. The lists and diagrams are helpful. But, above all, understand that the concept of being a “servant leader” is not alien or clinical or religious. It’s a sensible model that is worth emulating for your employees and your fellow managers. After all, there are enough tyrants in the world.

Pursue excellence by building people not palaces.

Become a servant leader.

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Up, Up and Away: Inflating the Career Development Balloon for your best employees

Pardon me just a moment while I slip on my powder blue leisure suit, comb my curly perm and jump into my orange Pontiac LeMans then flip The Fifth Dimension cassette into my 8-track tape player to hear that groovy tune called “Up, Up and Away”.

HotairballoonOne of my favorite lines of the song is:

Way up in the air in my beautiful balloon
If you’ll hold my hand we’ll chase your dream across the sky
For we can fly we can fly
Up, up and away

Unfortunately, many employers are still stuck in the 70s by failing to provide that career balloon for their valued employees. In Tom Becker’s article “Happiness Helps: Career Development Breeds Employee Engagement, Boosts Organizational Performance” from The Baldrige Resource Library (www.baldrigepe.org/brl) he makes a strong case that when managers encourage and direct their employees to develop their careers, they will reap a whirlwind of benefits.

Yes, I know: Duh.

Yet, how many employers have improved your education? Mapped out your career path? Signed you up for career-opportunity classes (on their dime)? Met with you, yearly, to create or update your career development track? Encouraged you with bonuses, awards, conferences, etc.?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

So many employers just go through the motions. An employee, perhaps even an outstanding one, is only on the payroll. The company has no desire or intention to retain them since they figure they’ll be gone soon anyway or that they are stuck there due to the faltering economy. Thus, no career track or development. Just fill the role at the moment, that’s all.

No balloon here-more like a brick.

Becker says that you are looking for more from your employer than just a paycheck:

 Employees are looking for challenges in their jobs. They want to contribute meaningfully to their organization’s success. By equipping employees to greater          challenges and meaning in their work, career development promotes engagement and enhances the performance of the individual and the organization.

Since most managers know this, it is prudent (and good business) to provide career development. According to a Right Management Survey, employees listed 10 “Engagement Drivers” that they want from their employer:

  1. Work processes.
  2. Learning and development opportunities.
  3. Culture.
  4. Senior leaders.
  5. Communication.
  6. Structure, roles and capability
  7. Recognition and reward.
  8. Customer focus.
  9. Strategy.
  10. Immediate managers.

Becker says that when a company provides career development opportunities, benefits abound:

  1. Engagement: Most companies do engage their employees in career development. (Ratio is 6:1.)
  2. Retention levels are higher: Employees are more likely to stay with their employer when there is career engagement.
  3. Productivity increases: Employees are 2 1/2 times more likely to be more productive in their job.
  4. Performance improves:  Best performing companies are almost three times more likely to provide career development opportunities than below-average performers.

It’s hard to believe that smart companies would leave this aspect of their business out. Yes, the recession has caused many companies to scale down their non-medical benefits with fewer conferences, classes and bonuses. They simply cannot afford it right now.  That’s understood.

So, using the recession as fall-back, some narrow-minded companies prefer the “Devil-You-Know” strategy: The economy is intensely precarious as new career opportunities elsewhere are severely limited in number and scope, that the unhappy employee is just going to hold their nose and stay anyway.  It’s much better to stay with the “Devil you know” (us, the lousy employer) than you (the stellar employee) testing the icy waters of the bad economy for a less stable job which is the “devil you don’t know.”

Consequently, the company pops that career development balloon with the convenient recession needle. Eventually, the disgruntled employee leaves as the clueless company publishes a “help wanted” ad and starts all over.

Instead of adopting that failed strategy, Becker gives us four reasonable remedies:

  1. Develop from within to hire from the outside.
  2. Ensure your investment in learning and development
    is meaningful.
  3. Provide employees with incentives to progress.
  4. Make employees partners in their own development.

Do you really want to keep your best best employees? Then give them an incentive to stay by taking the time to develop their career path. You will have a much happier, more productive and less transient work force.

“Up. Up and Away” is not just pleasant 70s elevator muzak. It’s a tried and true way to keep your best employees happy and your company successful no matter what the economic environment may hold.

If you’d like to read the article reviewed here, visit our Baldrige Resource Library website at www.baldrigepe.org/brl/. 

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Baldrige Award Recipient Results Fliers

baldrige frameworkA series of fliers have been developed to help tell the Baldrige story in real measurable results.

  • The Baldrige Framework February 2013 (pdf)
    • This flyer describes the Baldrige Framework, Baldrige Critera and describes why an organization should use the framework and how they can get started.
  • Sector Health Care V2 January 2014 (pdf)
    • This flyer describes the core measures, clinical outcomes and process measures several healthcare organizations have achieved and how healthcare organizations can get started with Baldrige.
  • Sector Manufacturing February 2013 (pdf)
    • This flyer describes the profitability & growth, customer loyalty and engaged workforce of several manufacturing companies and how manufacturers can get started with Baldrige.
  • Sector Govt and Nonprofit February 2013 (pdf)
    • This flyer provides two case studies that demonstrate results of a city government agency and a non-profit publishing house and how government and non-profit organizations can get started with Baldrige.
  • Sector Small Business February 2013 (pdf)
    • Two case studies are presented in this flyer and describe the results of a restaurant and pipeline developer. And, how a small business can get started with Baldrige.
  • Sector Education V2 January 2014(pdf)
    • Case studies describe small and large school districts that improved their student learning and other results with the Education Criteria.

For more information about the Baldrige Criteria visit the Baldrige Resource Library!

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What do customers want anyway?: A review of “The 8 Dimensions of Excellence” (Part 2)

(This post is the second and final in a two-part review of the Baldrige article “The 8 Dimensions of Excellence”.)

productionlinegraphicIt’s a common belief, borne out by experience, that no business is successful without some sort of planning. It may come in the form of a business plan or an outline or a list of goals. Whatever the form, some planning needs to be completed or else the business may never reach its potential or it may fail altogether.

Baldrige article author,  Robin Lawton, undertakes this issue and several other related ones in the second half of “The 8 Dimensions of Excellence”.

Lawton’s next and last four (4) dimensions are the following:

  1. Producer-desired outcomes
  2. Undesired outcomes producers want to avoid or eliminate
  3. Product characteristic producers want
  4. Process characteristics producers want

Microsoft didn’t just come together. It had to create a strategic business plan and then position itself in the marketplace. This plan, as Lawton states, includes market share, profitability, competitiveness and share price.

If it worked for a multi-billion-dollar-company like that, why can’t it work for you, “the little guy” just trying to increase sales in the marketplace?  When you finish with your plan, ask yourself the most important question: How well do my goals align with my customers’ desires?

It’s a good question which is answered with a look back in the “What-were-we-thinking?” section of American business history. The most infamous recent business example is the “New Coke”. I was just a kid when the Coca Cola Company came out in the mid-80s with a grand new recipe’ for its iconic drink but I remember it like it was yesterday as I was an avid consumer of it.

Soon after its mega-hyped introduction outside The Statue of Liberty, the “New Coke” was panned by the news media and rejected by its devoted customers (even though it did experience an brief uptick in sales on the East Coast.) The company had badly underestimated the rejection of the reformulated by the soft drink’s loyal fans. As sales were dropping. late night comedian, Johnny Carson, made it the butt of his nightly routines and the term “New Coke” became a term know known synonymously for “failure”.

Three months after its introduction, the “New Coke” was pulled from its shelves and “Coke Classic”, the new name for the beloved old product, was reintroduced and the furor died a quick death. Its customers were mollified and an embarrassing moment in marketing history ended.

Coca Cola’s marketing executives made a costly error in not aligning its corporate goals with its customers’ goals and paid dearly for it. Does your business truly need a “New {insert your most popular product here}” or do you just need to re-market your “classic product” better?

While, these undesired outcomes briefly hurt Coca Cola, it had the market segment, customer base and capitol reserves to sustain the losses. You, as a small businessperson, may not have such a luxury. As Lawton states:

                            Undesired outcomes are often defined and measured.
                            You can be sure your local fire department measures the number of                             extinguished fires per month and possibly the dollar value of damage
                            sustained. Contrast that with the desired outcome—
                            fire-free days—and the likelihood that statistic is measured.

So what product characteristics do customers want? Surprisingly, it’s pretty simple: Customers want, according to the author, products that are:

  1. easy to build
  2. cheap to produce
  3. cost-free to maintain
  4. easy to distribute
  5. one-size-that-fits-all
  6. can’t be easily copied by a competitor 

Using those six product characteristics as a baseline for success is easy to memorize,  attractive to place in a gold frame and to hang on a wall in your office, but there is more to it than that. In his final dimension, Lawton stresses several more important points in one final list titled “process characteristics”:

  1. low-process variation
  2. high productivity
  3. short cycle time
  4. high flexibility
  5. low unit cost

All of these points deserve paragraphs of their own but I’m running out of space. So, let’s just say that, for brevity’s sake, you take the author’s guide to business product success to heart, where would it take you? Only your monthly income statements will answer that question.

However, Robin Lawton’s “8 Dimensions of Excellence” does give you a detailed blueprint to reach excellence in positioning your product in the marketplace. Sure, business history has had a few “New Cokes” but it has had many more shining examples of successes such as Apple iPads, McDonald’s Big Macs and Ford Mustangs.

When you dig through all the lists in this article, choose one (or more) that works for your business. Then, find a picture frame or computer app and post one of them as a guide for you and your employees to see if your profit margins increase this new year.

Because, after all, if you can’t meet your customers’ expectations of excellence, what do you have left?

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What do customers want anyway?: A review of “The 8 Dimensions of Excellence” (Part 1)

Normally, a reviewer should be able to write their entire analysis of a Baldrige Resource Library article in one blog.

customerservicepic1However, when it’s the case of Robin Lawton’s “The 8 Dimensions of Excellence” which is chock-full of lists, graphics, charts and more pastels than a “Miami Vice” rerun, I would do a disservice to the author and the reader if I limited it to just one 600+-word review. There’s just too much here.

So, I’m splitting it into two parts to be fair. Now, let’s get started.

It’s all about the customer, right? Right. Without them, there is no business. Seems nonsensical, yes, but many companies could use some advice in that area. Lawton’s article gives us insight into how we can meet the deisred results for our customers and the first four (4) dimensions are the following:

  1. Customer-desired outcomes
  2. Undesired outcomes customers want to avoid or eliminate
  3. Product and service characteristics customers want
  4. Product acquisition processes customers want

Lawton begins the article with this statement:

Which of the three topics would customers say is most important and
the primary reason they come to your enterprise? Yes, it’s all about
outcomes. To paraphrase Peter Drucker, customers are not loyal to
products; they’re loyal to results. We tend to measure process performance
much more intensively than the outcomes customers experience.
Despite our stated desire to be customer focused, what we truly
value gets measured. The pursuit of excellence makes change possible.

From this premise, the author shows us in a diagram describing the “Customer Priorities” and the “Producer Priorities” and how they should match up.  Ironically, what stands out most from the diagram is that customers are on top.  How often has it seemed to you and me, customers that is, that it’s the other way around?

When it’s the reverse, the customer’s loyalty changes and they bolt for the competition. The customer approaches your business for a product and when they don’t get what they want they leave. It’s really about outcomes.  If you don’t meet them you’re done.

So what are those undesired outcomes?  In Dimension Number 2,  a brief list is given:

Debt, discomfort, wasted time, frustration and
exclusion are outcomes customers want to avoid.

That’s a pretty short list but it covers the lowlights of a bad customer experience pretty well. I can relate to wasted time and frustration as a customer such as the time we waited forever in line at the big box home improvement store as they corrected the purchase price of our front door. We waited so long, in fact, the embarrassed store manager gave us free installation.

Purchase saved and expectations met. We have returned to the same store many times since then.

Which leads to the next point: What, then, are the products and service characteristics customers do want? In Dimension Number 3, he says outright that we need to eliminate the term “service” and just include it as part of your “product” using these criteria:

Service has no obvious units of measure. It suggests activity with verbs such as help, assist, provide and support. Products intuitively suggest things (nouns) that can be counted.

Anything we call a product must meet these few criteria:

  1. You can make it plural.
  2. It is a deliverable you can give to someone.
  3. It occurs in countable units.

Pretty radical thinking since most of us separate the two but he has a point. It simplifies it and now I even look at my own business differently and see that everything I offer as a product. It meets all of the criteria. Examine your own business, it probably meets them, too.

(From this product criteria, he has a list of “9 Facts about Products”. It’s worth noting but there is no space to review it here.)

Lastly, Dimension Number 4:  Create product acquisition processes customers want.

The best way I can summarize it here is this: Make your product process purchase streamlined and easy for the customer. (i.e. Amazon.com) They will keep coming back. The more steps you add to the acquisition of your product, the less likely they will return.

Four dimensions done. The next four dimensions and the conclusion of my review coming up in Part 2: “The 8 Dimensions of Excellence”.

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Resistance Training: It’s not just for physical therapy anymore

This prolonged sluggish economy has pushed businesses to be more creative in their approach to working with their employees. Creativity is a good thing as it gets us out of our comfort zone and allows us to see other ways of accomplishing the company’s mission.

bicyclsit knees So, when Jo Anne Couch, author of “Resistance Training: Enriching Values and Trust in Tough Times”,  began her article with this statement:

Wise leadership will use the current slow economy as the “resistance”and begin to reorganize their organization toward a stronger culture of values, trust, strategy, and success. It is the perfect time for your business to engage around Resistance Training!

I knew what she was saying even though the word “resistance” implies exactly opposite of what some may perceive. Couch uses the physical therapy she received after a hip replacement as an effective analogy. Her physician stated that she had to rebuild her muscles by using her own body’s weight resistance to create healthier muscles before using the fancy machines to fine tune it.

Much like damaged human muscles, management, Couch states, needs to rebuild its business strengths in the marketplace by using these strategies:

  1. Meet: Use the “collective wisdom” of your managers and hear their ideas. It’s not business as usual.
  2. Leap: Ask lots of questions, especially open-ended ones. It may lead to new markets, new product spin-offs and improve the profit margin.
  3. Coach: Translate the goals and strategies throughout the entire company. Once everyone knows them, trust and understanding develops.
  4. Quantify: “You simply cannot manage what you do not measure.” Use a trusted standard (such as Baldrige Awards Quality Improvement Processes) to measure your results. Measure your quality efforts and achieve even more productivity and success.

Throughout her treatise, Couch uses the term “push against” as the thread of her resistance training analogy. It’s a good one, too.

I know resistance training well. I had intense physical therapy several years ago for my knees inflamed with patellar tendonitis stemming from thousands of miles on my road bike. The resistance training, through countless repetitions. was agonizing.

Sometimes, I wondered if it was worth it until a year later when all that work (and some bike saddle adjustments) had me back on the road pedaling with two healthy, rehabilitated knees. All that “resistance” and “pushing” made a difference and saved my bicycling addiction.

The author says it best:

Ask any Ironman why he or she engages in resistance training! They know that on competition daytimes may be tough – winds may kick up, rain may fall, and the water may be choppy-but they have prepared for years for that day. That preparation results in their being one of the world’s finest athletes. Is your organization- your business-an Ironman? Are you ready for this race day that has thrown some surprises your way? Have you completed resistance training?

This new international business world and its seemingly never-ending recession has accelerated the demands for creativity, efficiency, coaching, and high standards of quality. Toss out the old ways of managing lest you hang a “Closed” sign on the entrance.

Resistance training works for hip replacements, overworked knees and limping businesses rebuilding their segment in the marketplace.

To read this full article and other like it visit the Baldrige Resource Library. Membership is free!

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Around the Bend: Eight Factors That Will Change Our World

Future of Quality Study: Around the BendFor ASQ’s 2011 Future of Quality Study, almost 150 professionals from within the global economic framework weighed in on the topic of forces set to shape the future of quality. While the eight forces that were agreed upon overall are quite distinct, they have in common a sense of sudden emergence. Each of these eight factors has arisen with speed and urgency to affect the development of quality in the new decade and beyond – and each of them has something to say to the quality professional.

(1) Global Responsibility

Breadth of impact is becoming a more pertinent theme than ever in the decision-making processes of corporate entities. Beyond social responsibility lies global responsibility – the realization that even local decisions have an effect on global well-being and development.

(2) Consumer Awareness

Responding to, and even anticipating, consumer perceptions has become crucial in the age of rapid and widespread dissemination of data. Being ready to act before the customer has even expressed their needs is become less a kind of magic, and more a necessity.

(3) GlobalizationFuture of Quality Study: Around the Bend Insert

More complex in connotation than ever, globalization has long haunted the Future of Quality Study. While its meaning has evolved over time, its significance has not waned: the marketplace has been blown wide open, and business has crept over the face of the earth.

(4) Increasing Rate of Change

Breakneck advances in technology have driven the rate of change into realms that once would have seemed absurd. With this increase in the pace of overall development comes great risk – and great opportunity.

(5) Workforce of the Future

From the places we work to the education we pursue in order to achieve qualification, the way in which we work is changing, too. Gone are the days of lonely degrees and diplomas – ongoing training and investment in workforce resources are becoming the new norm.

(6) Aging Population

While healthcare costs loom ahead, new opportunities also take form. Retirement promises to fade into obscurity, while new marketplaces and service needs are becoming more dominant than ever in response to the needs of the aging population.

(7) 21st Century Quality

Quality itself has changed dramatically, transitioning from isolated concern with a product to focus on management, customer experience and global connections. This has resulted in a much more uniformly holistic approach, and carries with it a vast scope of potential.

(8) Innovation

Less straightforward to define, but as important as any of these eight forces, innovation can be described as “the pursuit of something different and exciting.” If this last force can be channeled in the advancement of the rest, its value will be realized.

Find this ASQ article and others like it at the Baldrige Resource Library! Membership is free.

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Time for a Change: Basic tips for leading a successful change initiative

Change is a scary thing. When it’s done correctly it’s magic. When it’s done badly it’s deadly.

I know as I’ve experienced both. I’ve seen the skillful managers who have met with all of their staff and requested feedback, advice and buy-in to proposed changes. They were not only respected and supported but they also saw their organization improve and the retention rate of staff and customers was 100%. We were all on board and appreciated the role we had in the changes. It was seamless baby. Seamless.

Then, I’ve seen the clueless managers who made wholesale changes with little or no feedback, advice or buy-in from staff or clients. Before long the organization began hemorrhaging employees and stakeholders who had become disillusioned, resentful and angry with the heavy-handed, tin-eared and hypersensitive style of the head honchos. It was a train-wreck and we were in the caboose watching it derail. Ugly, man. Ugly.

Those who are of the former style of management, the Baldrige article being reviewed here is probably just a rehash of your style. Kudos to you as you get it.

Those of you reading this article who are of the latter style of management, please read on before you drive the “change train” off the tracks and lose more employees and clients. Yes, there is redemption if you don’t delay.

In Adrian Tan’s article “Time for a Change: Basic tips for leading a successful change initiative,” we find that the best way a leader can implement it is by having knowledge. Or, as Tan says:

“In my experience leading change, I have found the most basic ingredient for
making change happen is knowledge: knowledge of yourself, the situation and
the concerns of those affected by the change. It is extremely important to do
your homework first and learn about all sides of the story.”

Tan continues to relate his own experience of jumping in too early and botching it up. He then gives five pointers for leaders who are making a change:

  1. Get the direction right
  2. Communicate
  3. Start small and empower
  4. Stay focused and be consistent
  5. Stay neutral

Those tips seem so benign and acceptable by any standard until you dig deeper. Tan states that change is “an intricate task.  It is a science—a series of steps that can be planned and documented. But it is also an art.”

“Steps” I understand, but an “art”? Is he overstating it a bit?

No, not at all. Any manager can follow a flow chart or a timeline but a good manager makes changes like a painter adds a cloud to a skyline or a horse to a pasture.  It’s a change that makes sense and adds to the clarity and beauty of the painting.

Yes, change can be an art when it’s done right. Tan summarizes it well with this conclusion:

“Leading and managing change is an intricate task, and even the most experienced change agent will run into obstacles. Using these basic tips will help you stay on course to leading a successful change initiative and making change happen.”

In a demanding international business world of tightening budgets, staff reorganizations and expanding markets, change is inevitable and the success of it revolves around a savvy, principled manager who brings their staff and stakeholders on board.

Take his timeless advice and avoid the inevitable train-wreck. You won’t regret it.

Find Tan’s article and others like it at the Baldrige Resource Library! Membership is free.

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A Global Social Responsibility Standard

A Global SR Standard

ISO 26000, as many of you are aware, was the International Standard for social responsibility launched in November 2010. Established to promote global norms for social responsibility, its success is argued in this article to be largely dependent on our collective treatment of eight primary factors.

Michael S. Asslander notes that this Standard requires corporations to “contribute to sustainable development through transparent and ethical behavior, which increases the wealth and welfare of society, respects the demands of all relevant stakeholders, and is in line with applicable laws, international regulations, and standards of behavior.”

ISO 26000 does not consider social responsibility a corrective action, but a fundamental value that should be applied on all levels of an organization’s performance.

One major concern that has been raised about the new Standard is that it might prove to be a hindrance to smaller corporations that are in less ideal a position to implement the social responsibility standards while struggling to establish themselves amidst larger, more experienced competitors. Some of our eight factors relate directly to this concern.

Here are the elements being considered:

(1) Stakeholders. These individuals collectively observe the way in which a company transacts its business, and are constantly measuring its level of responsibility. Under ISO 26000, the stakeholders will become more influential even than customers.

(2) Trust. The actions of leaders throughout the past several decades have led to an overall decline in trust, and stakeholders’ expectations are higher than ever. ISO 26000 could help to restore credibility, trust, and brand value.

(3) Attention. Corporate entities will need to pay special attention to the balance between people, profit, and the planet.

(4) Novelty. Achieving and maintaining excellence requires ongoing innovation. This element may be particularly important for smaller enterprises as they seek to find a competitive edge within ISO 26000.

(5) Diversity. The article lists primary areas of diversity as being in human, performance, industrial, size, cultural, ideological, geographic, and perceptional realms. This relates closely to number six:

(6) Alliance. Global cooperation is the only path toward a universal standard. Consensus among products, industries and countries will empower ISO 26000. To follow through with this, we require number seven:

(7) Respect. This translates into fair practices, concern for people, and care for environments. It is integral to the success of the new Standard.

(8) Dedication. Lasting success is obtainable only through long-term dedication to the application of the Standard on every level, from the smallest endeavor to the largest corporate power.

This engaging article, and many others like it, are available through the Baldrige Resource Library. Take a look today – registration is totally free of charge, and the resources contained are both extensive and invaluable.

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Featured Article: 40 New Voices of Quality

40 New Voices of Quality

Quality Progress magazine recently released a special report on the top 40 professionals under 40 who best represent innovation in quality today. The top 12 in this group are given feature profiles in the report, and the remaining 28 are mentioned by name.

Selection criteria were as follows:

(1) Personal Story. Is the nominee honest and impartial in serving his or her employer, customers, clients and the general public?

(2) Professional Achievements. Does the nominee strive to increase his or her competence and prestige, as well as that of the quality profession as a whole?

(3) Community Impact. Does the nominee use his or her knowledge and skill for the enhancement of human welfare?

The resulting 12 profiles are as enlightening as they are encouraging. These are the faces behind the quality assurance that underpins professional output from engineering to teaching to medicine.

Here are the 12 featured professionals from this article.

Jim Akers, Quality Engineer, Rockford, IL

Jonathan Altafulla, Quality Assurance Coordinator, Miranda, Venezuela

Daniel Bharadwaj, Vice President of Quality, Jamesburg, NJ

Sameer Chougle, Quality Assurance Head, Ardiya, Kuwait

Jason Hawkins, Vice President, Lean and Special Projects Manager, Oklahoma City

Mohamed Helaly, Engineer, Doha, Qatar

Jason Kane, M.D., Physician, Chicago

Jamison Kovach, Assistant Professor, Houston

Elias Monreal, Quality Engineer, Tucson, AZ

Nathaniel Piland, Senior Reliability Engineer, Santa Rosa, CA

Asgar “Oz” Rahman, Director of Quality, Madison, WI

Paulo Sampaio, Professor, Braga, Portugal

Check out the Baldrige Resource Library for this article and many more!

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