Tuesday, November 17, 2009

qualityg's Company Strategies for 2011 and Beyond

So many books have been written about strategy that if you followed every one of them you would not know where to start.

My cheap advice is to create a "Vision of Reality", have "Constancy of Purpose" and make sure your "Aim", strategy, objective, principles and goals are in alignment and completely understood from bottom to top and back down again throughout the organization.

One more thing, please realize the "Corporate World" is not Flat. You will fall off the board if you continue to have strategies that result in denying the competition is global, regardless of the size or type of your company.

qualityg’s strategies are as follows:
  • Our strategy is about improving the bottom line (reduce unit cost) by identifying ways in our every day work activities that prevent waste and resources while increasing customer satisfaction.
  • Strategy is about reducing variation (e.g., defect reduction, cycle time) in our processes so that non-conformance's and backlogs/bottlenecks can never arise.
  • Strategy is about using our disciplined method of using extremely rigorous data gathering and system thinking techniques to identify non-conformance's and ways of eliminating and preventing them from occurring through our Quality Process Improvement Process Road map.
  • Strategy will obtain our group objective of exceeding our customer expectations by building long-term partnerships with our customers, and by providing services, which consistently meets their needs and expectations.
  • Strategy will implement measurements for all our work efforts to establish baselines for continual improvement.
  • Strategy will apply our Foundation Principles to all of our activities, thereby establishing a self-imposed level of performance excellence that far exceeds other goals and objectives.
  • Strategy will develop standardized documents, templates and processes that will allow us to consistently lead and set the Benchmark for process improvement.

For additional information read my posts at

Principles - http://qualityg.blogspot.com/2007/01/qualitygs-company-principles-for-2007.html

Innovation - http://qualityg.blogspot.com/2007/01/quality-resolution-2007-innovation.html

Goals Objectives - http://qualityg.blogspot.com/2006/12/quality-employee-goals-objectives-for.html

Costs - http://qualityg.blogspot.com/2007/01/qualityg-says-cut-costs-in-2007-not.html

Leadership - http://qualityg.blogspot.com/2006/12/quality-leadership-characteristics.html

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Educations number one enemy --> COMFORT

I attended a two day conference last week that provided a vast amount of speakers and information on current educational issues.

Each day had a keynote speaker who spoke about transforming and reforming our current educational system.

Both speakers were very entertaining and provided example after example of the demise of our educational system.

Both speakers represented their own consulting company.

The audience applauded and laughed as the speakers presented their findings and solutions to many of the probable symptoms in the educational system. At one point I wondered how many teachers and administrators in the large hall where I sat were laughing at themselves or at their peers when examples of poor teaching and leadership were given. Somehow I thought we should be crying and ashamed of ourselves.

I was glad each speaker mentioned the word “system” in their talk and in their handouts. System is a key word when it comes to transforming (to change in composition or structure b: to change the outward form or appearance of) or designing a system with built in quality assurances.

Please notice I did NOT include the word “Reform” in the above statement. Why? Because Reform (to put or change into an improved form or condition b: to amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses) is what we currently do and what we have done for the last twenty years.

“School Reform will not do, Transformation is what must happen and it must happen now.” – gmc

Reform focuses on trying to make the existing model work. Transformation is a developing a new and different model with all system players in the development and design stages.

You see many leaders and consultants’ talk and write of transforming the educational system but what they really say and do is reforming the system. Our current educational system has been riding the same rail for over a hundred years and it goes all around with no aim, beginning or end and the engine (Educational & Government Leaders) driving it just keeps adding new approaches (railcars) with no means of knowing what works and what does not because the engine just keeps going on a track of no return.

Transformation is the only answer and it must come from Leadership that is ready to lead and confront the battle of “Comfort.”

Yep, “Comfort” is the enemy. Educators love the comfort of the current system and do not want it to change. Oh, they will tell you we want change but in the end they want it as long as it is someone else who has to change. That is why Technological Reform today causes such a wide gap among teachers. Heck, many still don’t believe in the calculator as being a tool to learn.

Students today have “transformed” in to a new generation of learners and teachers are still trying to “reform” their current lesson plans.

The educational system requires transformation not reform. The two are opposing in meaning. Transformation is a major systems change, while reform is about making small improvements to a part of the existing system that often affects the whole by tampering with the system causing out of control situations.

Reform is a process of improving an existing system. Transformation is a method of designing and developing a new system, culture, process, and structure, and moving the current system to the new.

The only way a transformation can be successful is through leader who is NOT afraid to make decisions and NOT afraid of confronting the status quo. The leader must OWN THE SYSTEM!

After all, is this not the number one reason individual schools do not change very easy? They are lead by good people doing their best by avoiding conflict, looking for comfort and just want a few more years of peace and quiet until they retire.

That is why educators make errors of omission. That is, they make errors by not doing what they should.


In addition to the keynote speakers I attended three sessions on data, assessments and schools labeled as “distinctive.”

Based on my 30 years in business I believe educational leaders are still 10 - 15 years behind organizational learning when it comes to improving systems and using data as a tool.

People with data can do good things.

People with data and have no idea on how to use the data can cause disasters.

School districts love assessments, standardized tests and data from systems that provides inferences on how well they are doing and what labels a student as a good or poor performer.

I’m somewhat OK with that but not when the test is yearly and the assessments are every 3 to 5 years.

I sat in one session where a very high level administrator explained the importance of a standardized test results that will lead you to identifying a students problem areas.

I asked if it would not be better to use the on-going daily observations and testing of the teacher(s) than to rely only on an annual test.

The presenter took my question that I was referring to a student having a bad day when being tested and that a standardized test may not be accurate. – Perhaps!

However, my point is that we must use process (daily, weekly, etc...) measures for improvement and not result (standardized tests, assessments) measures. By the time we figure out the results we have lost the students to poor grades, dropouts and graduation to the next grade level.

People just love fancy printouts that show rows and columns of data every which way. It helps justify the price tag for such measurement systems. Results Data give people a false sense of knowledge and power. People must realize that Process Data is what supplies knowldege because you are working within the system to understand and apply the learnings.

How can one be an educator and not know what a student lacks prior to a standardized test.

We are in deep trouble folks.
Get your butt off the couch (comfort) and do something value added!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Customer Focus - 2010 & Beyond ...

We all know of the global crisis facing many of our largest institutions and organizations. What we must remember that all the bail outs and bankruptcy's won't matter if the customer (internal and external) is not at the front of each and every plan. We have yet to learn this from the 1970s.

What follows is an example of a letter from a Senior Officer to his/her direct reports (after a merger, reorg, takeover, etc...) that should be cascaded down through out the organization. It is written is a generic form that would require minor adjustment to fit your own company needs. Additional data from your own company on customer satisfaction levels and those of your customers also adds to the impact of this type of letter.
CUSTOMER FOCUS – 2010 and Beyond

Now that we have merged with qualityg enterprises (QGE), it is vital that the integration of our cultures begin with identifying those attributes that have made us both successful and those that need to be merged and transformed into one.

The attributes that will drive this effort are customer focus, preference and retention. Customers are Paramount. No matter how much or how fast the business changes, this is one value that will remain constant. QGE has had a vast amount of experience in recent years of customers moving back and forth between one service provider and another in the international market. While QGE has had a more loyal customer base, we need to start understanding our customers better and begin concentrating on what it takes to retain them for sustained growth and continued preference of our services and products. "We will keep our promises."

A few years back I was given a quote on what it means to have “Loyal Customers.” It had meaning then and certainly applies more today:

“It will not suffice to have customers who are merely satisfied. Satisfied customers switch, for no good reason, just to try something else. Success and growth come from customers who boast about your products and services. The loyal customer requires no advertising or other persuasion, and he brings a friend with him.”

One of my top priorities this year as you know is that “We Will Keep Our Promises” to our customers. Along with that I will be continuously stressing the importance of customer focus and challenging you on what improvements have been made in achieving customer preference and retention. Customer satisfaction in not good enough, studies have shown that between 65 percent and 85 percent of customers who defect say they were satisfied or very satisfied with their supplier/vendor.

Achieving Customer Preference and Retention

The purpose of our business is to obtain and retain customers in a profitable manner. Operationally speaking it is not our main objective to sell products and services. However, it is our objective to partner with our customers to share our expertise and technological skills in order to help them define their needs, and to create the most cost efficient service that is best suited for themselves and their customers.

This also means we don’t go the extra mile; it means the extra mile is part of our daily work. Only in the eyes of our customers should it seem like above and beyond the call of duty. Let me provide an example. If a customer contacts us and is having a problem (i.e. billing) and it is discovered not to be QGE related, I want us to stay with that customer and work with them until they are comfortable that they have made the correct contact that can rectify their situation. That means we work with them on their behalf and represent their needs. Think of yourselves as a customer for a moment, think of the times when you were truly delighted with the service you received, many times it probably had to do with a person who went the extra mile or beyond your expectations to make sure you had the right contact or service that earned your respect and loyalty.

We will install, deliver and repair what the customer wants and desires. We will respond to customers quickly. Each of us will listen to our customers and use their input to develop innovative solutions or add value to our products and services. In this way, we will earn our customers’ preference and retention. This is the type of service quality that QGE expects form all of its employees.

Now that the best Service Provider companies have joined forces it is important to understand the many challenges and aggressive competition that will face us on many fronts. To continuously be the best we must offer a total package of products and services that delight our customers. What will separate us even further from the rest will be our continued customization of service, front-line customer service, and commitment to customer loyalty.

Achieving customer preference and retention will happen through our employees, especially employees who are proud of our company and empowered to provide excellent customer service. It is our job as managers to enable our folks with the tools to succeed and then get out of their way and let them do their jobs.

It will be one of my objectives going forward to lead our organization in using a systemic process approach that constantly searches for new ways to improve both customer preference and internal efficiency by partnering and linking with all our internal departments. Obtaining and keeping customers is essential and it requires all parts of the company to be aligned and focused on our customers.

The level of customer preference that we achieve will be the direct result of the quality of the partnerships that we have in place with our internal process partners (Marketing, Sales, Engineering, Billing, etc.)

At each partner linkage there is the opportunity for our customers to come in contact with us and determine if we will be and continue to be their vendor/supplier of choice. Even though we don’t work in these departments we will take the lead or partner with them when it comes to enlightening, enabling, empowering and encouraging our fellow workers to provide the best service possible.

QGE’s uniqueness for provisioning service and entrepreneurial spirit needs to continue even at a greater pace in 2010 and beyond. We must lead our new company in breaking away from our competitors. Our customers will differentiate our service from others because of the unique value that we provide.

We all have a stake in our business and are accountable for operationally excellent performance. We will take ownership and will focus our energy on growing the business profitably by managing our customers’ wants and needs. As we transfer and manage information for our customers, we will set the standards for value and quality in our industry.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Michigan Lawmakers ---> Who is Accountable & Who is Responsible? - Say What!

I originally wrote this Post in May 2007. Based on what is currently happening in Lansing you would think this is deja vu. What a mess and school children are still the pawns!

May 21, 2007

The following Post will be based on the two definitions Listed below:

ACCOUNTABLE suggests imminence of retribution for unfulfilled trust or violated obligation (elected officials are accountable to the voters).

RESPONSIBLE implies holding a specific office, duty, or trust (the bureau responsible for revenue collection).

These words are often used interchangeably and it is not surprising since they are synonyms.

Let me use the following example to understand them more.

In the great state of Michissippi (New name for Michigan) the governor is RESPONSIBLE to the citizens for following through on campaign promises and is trustworthy since that is why she got elected.

When the person responsible is not fulfilling those trusts then she is ACCOUNTABLE to the citizens of Michissippi.

The campaign rhetoric (Fall 2006) claimed the state is on the right track and more diversified businesses (other than auto) would be settling and creating jobs in Michissippi. Google is one of those companies and is creating 1000 jobs in Ann Arbor.

However, the state continues to lose businesses and jobs by the thousands each week (too many to list)

Now we find out the state is in such bad shape financially that the students (K –12) are being used as pawns in a partisan political catfight. If the budget is not settled by June 1, 2007 many school districts will lose approximately $120.00 per student. Many schools will have to close early by at least 2 – 3 weeks for lack of funding.


Most politicians regardless of office always create an aura of the grandiose goals and accomplishments that they will do if elected. They pontificate about the plans they have to move their community, state or country forward. Some even are STUPID (yes – Stupid) to pronounce a numerical goal that really has no meaning.

We all have goals, dreams and hopes for our future and those of our children. When they don’t get fulfilled we end up frustrated, depressed and a feeling of being a big LOSER.


Because all the promises, hopes, dreams and numerical accomplishments will not be met without a (no not a plan) Method (HOW?) attached to each of the promises, hopes, dreams, and numerical accomplishments. A plan can be put together with numerical goals and people get all excited because now we have measures to hold people responsible accountable for their actions.

Nobody asks for the written plan to see if there are accompanying methods on how to obtain these empty promises. Nobody questions the people responsible to determine if they know what the method is or how it is developed. The definition of METHOD is so simple it means HOW are you going to do what you say.

Ask yourself this question “What would happen to me on my job if I am not responsible and accountable for my actions?” You funny folks would say nothing-just look at the people I work with. Those of us in the real world with layoffs and downsizing will tell you there are nowhere to hide anymore and you will eventually be found and eliminated.

All of us except elected officials, we just say I wont vote for them next time. Most of us forget in the 2 or 4 years they are in office, there should be an immediate firing of these elected officials and corresponding jail time. I know where I used to work elected officials developed a law called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that goes after Corporate no-good stooges for being bad boys and girls.

How come it does not apply to no-good Elected Officials stooges?

Another example of no Accountability and Responsibility can be found on my Blog at


Michissippi? -