I got into a debate with a Quality/Process/Six Sigma... Consultant last week about Quality Leadership (qg's Quality Leadership).
Those who know me and frequent readers of this blog also know that I have a strong dislike of "most" so-called Quality Consultants.
I asked the consultant how many "Chief Quality Officers (CQO)" has he encountered in his travels and implementations of Quality Programs? He replied that in most companies the CQO position is often held by the CEO or one of the other Vice Presidents in the company. In other words it is a "Add-On" title to the "real title held by the individual.
You see most Quality Certifications require a company/organization/institution to have a Quality Leader in the hierarchy. This person usually attends a few Quality classes and then becomes officially trained in Quality, and maybe just maybe he/she will be a "Green Belt" in today's terms of a Quality aficionado.
While most quality consultants will all say there must be a Executive Quality Leader in their roll-out programs very few ever convince a company to have such a position.
If you look at the top five reasons why Quality Programs fail it is because of a "sustained" Quality Leader and Position within a company. If this is the case why then would a Quality Consultant Group contract with a company if they know it will fail without this position?
It's all about balance folks, if you only have a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer CFO), Chief Marketing & Sales Officer and a Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the helm with a bunch of executive officers underneath them and even more VP positions under them you may find a VP or Director of Quality under one of them. Check your company organizational chart to see where your Chief Quality Officer is located.
Customer Surveys usually report that customers ultimately want Price, Value, Superb "Speedy" Service, and Simplicity in the product or service they purchase. One is missing and that is Quality, you can't have any of the others without a sound program and leader that integrates Quality into the day-to-day operations of all jobs.
Why do you think the majority a meeting revolve around finances, accounting and technology? Where does the customer come into play? Where do employees come into play? I will tell you, they come into play after the company finds out their finances, sales and accounting figures are not fact and after a company loses market share.
These are all after the fact problems which can be avoided with a CQO challenging their peers with preventive tactics that are done through the voice of the customer, processes, integrated systems and employees.
The Quality Consultant told me there is some truth to my reasoning but his company is a multi-million dollar operation and they have many happy customers with the amount of training and support they provide. I asked if his company pulls out if the company they are dealing with does not name or assign a Chief Quality Officer? Response - Hey it's their business.
Dr. Deming would have said "qualityg How Could They Know?"