why quality fails
From Quality Task Force Leadership training course
Ten Questions for Leaders
Bonding Through Common Complaint
Beyond the usual list of technical difficulties such as inadequate focus, incomplete tracking, and reliance on our own perceptions of customers, we are having trouble forming truly collaborative teams.
mentality is difficult because truly effective
teams must be predicated on trust.
Unfortunately, many organizations are perceived by their workforce as untrustworthy. The results are pockets of "us" and pockets of "them," the true antithesis of a Quality relationship.
1. When you contemplate change in yourself, do you account for your own natural resistance, or even denial of the need for change? Do you account for these factors in others?
2. Are you sharing the risks of change visibly enough with the rest of the workforce? What's at stake for you? Who knows about it?
3. Have you learned anything from a subordinate today? If you have, did you implement it?
4. Have you abruptly interrupted someone today while they were talking? Mentally completed thoughts or filled in answers for someone else?
5. Do you sometimes act so busy that people are invited to wait until problems are serious enough to warrant your attention?
6. Do you often pretend you are sure when you're not? When is the last time you openly asked for help or admitted confusion?
7. Are you living out your key values at work? How would anyone know?
8. How patient are you? Are you modeling enjoyment and long-term commitment, or are you working primarily for the short term so you can "get out?"
9. When you communicate, are you for the most part making statements or asking questions? Do your questions contain assumptions (e.g., `Why are you behind schedule' vs. `How are you doing with our timeline')? Are you thus encouraging defensiveness?
10. In your heart of hearts, do you believe that differences in education or background determine the quality of that person and the value he/she could add? When did you last spend time with someone several layers down in the organization?
You Are the Learning Organization
If any of your answers reveal a shortcoming, you could be at the beginning of a rich expansion for yourself and your Quality initiatives. When you execute, that is. Habit dies hard only when recognition is denied, or visible implementation is delayed. When we deny our need to change, others trust us less, for the good reason that we are not then trusting ourselves.
Try a Quick Experiment in
Pick one area from your responses where you could demonstrate change today. Track the implementation for 48 hours. Consciously acknowledge those who are helping you learn. This tiny step furthers the marriage between trust and Quality. With your initiative and with teamwork that concentrates on the Quality effort, you can count on it: measurable results are on the way.
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