What is the quality of our society? What role does the quality manager have here? Key questions of the Dutch National Quality Conference 2013 not only referred to the internal organization: society was well covered. Inside out, that was the point.
‘Things are shifting’, says Wim de Ridder, Professor in Future Research. ‘For a long time the attention was around customer focus. Today is all about sustainability, while in the future is all about creating shared value.’ This can only be accomplished in collaboration with the external stakeholders. A logical development, because in our flexible society, more and more people work independently. Expertise can be found in the sector, but increasingly outside the own organization. It is up to the organizations to find that expertise and where needed use it. This requires a helicopter view, to broaden your view and look over the company walls.
What does that mean in the area of quality management? Many quality managers think the world can be influenced, but that's only partly true. Because to exhort influence, one must know all stakeholders. And there are always more stakeholders than you think. If you haven’t identified 30(!), you have probably forgotten a few ... To get a complete overview of all stakeholders - again – it is crucial to know (or learn about) your environment first.
At Proctor & Gamble they have understood the message: the quality manager comes 'from outside'. Appointed to break the boundaries and to form communities, he/she is compensated on the basis of performance. With the message: "Innovate the way we innovate" product and process development go hand in hand.
With the Dutch book Derde generatie kwaliteitsmanagement. Vertrekken, zoeken, verbreden (Third Generation Quality Management. Depart, Search, Broaden) a new path is finally taken. According to one of the initiators, Jan Jonker, the book is written 'with respect for the past and a view on the future’. During the first generation mainly internal variables played a role. But 3GQM is quite different: there is a high degree of complexity, precisely because of the connection with variables from the environment.
But theory is different from practice: the purpose many organizations have with their activities is 'value creation'. But the why-question isn’t asked (enough). High performing organizations take this as a starting point and answer the questions: What is our vision? What do we stand for? What is our role in society? Who starts at the core, creates a natural process of sustainable organizational development. And that brings new opportunities. The book Third Generation Quality Management offers practical starting points here.
Curious? Improve4all has co-authored the book. Please contact us for questions or tips.
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