The Leadership Vacuum Around Quality
Its long been true that the vast majority of business executive choose mediocrity over creativity, evolution over revolution, and following over innovating. They may not do this consciously, but through a series of bad choices, employee compromises, and a general lack of creativity they have developed bad management habits that allow these things to take root, and eventually take over.
In the latest edition of Harvard Business Review, there’s a great article by Ashwin Srinivasan and Bryan Kurey called Creating a Culture of Quality that shares some of the results of a quality survey, focusing largely on manufacturing organizations, but touching on many of these same areas. At the end of the day, the issues they identified in their research are much the same as what author Eliyahew Goldratt identified in his must-read management guide The Goal, pointing to leadership, message credibility, peer involvement, and employee empowerment as the key drivers of quality in an organization. And when quality is emphasized at all levels of the organization, and at every stage – from the way you hire employees to the execution of a marketing initiative to a product release – it changes more than the short-term delivery of a product or service, but the culture of the organization also improves.
Quality is the opposite of mediocrity. Quality seeks after revolutionary ideas, and inspires and expects innovation.
Look at your own organization — when did "good enough" become the standard within your marketing and product strategy? Many organizational cultures have collectively stagnated because we’ve focused on short-term financial gain as the primary measurement of business success, and hired those people who fulfill a role and can be easily controlled rather than those who would individually or collectively improve what is in place today.
Its time to do something different, to be different, authentic, and bold in our decision-making. Reject mediocrity, embrace quality.