In his 1984 book ‘Quality Without Tears’, Philip Crosby introduced the concept of a Quality Vaccine – a super serum that could be injected into an organisation to drive improvement and prevent hassle.
With vaccines at the very forefront of our minds and a new year just around the corner, it’s apt to think about the injection we’d like to apply into our own organisations.
Crosby’s list of ingredients included: integrity for everyone – being dedicated to getting it right for the customer; systems for measurement, reporting, corrective action and defect prevention; communications to drive through information and understanding; operations including supplier performance and training; policies that are clear and unambiguous.
What would YOUR vaccine include?
Perhaps it could ‘boost’ certain aspects that are already in place. This year we have seen people and organisations respond to challenge with agility, creativity and with pace. What about more of that in 2021? Changes to the way we work have increased levels of autonomy and trust. How could we keep that going? Or maybe you would like the vaccine to eliminate something. What would you like to remove from your organisation? How about non-value adding activities? It’s likely that there are still some wastes to tackle. How about addressing fear of failure, so the organisation can do more experimentation and learning? Or perhaps, like Crosby, you’d like to use the vaccine to drive the good stuff in. This could include clarity on what matters most, robust processes, or an agile mindset.
As well as specifying his list of ingredients for the vaccine, Crosby outlined three distinct management actions required to administer it. These are Determination, Education and Implementation, with all three needed and in the order they’re presented here.
I’d support Crosby on the actions needed to administer the vaccine but would include Courage, Energy and Tenacity in the ingredients. It is said that the best way to predict the future is to create it – these are three essential enablers we need to address and affect 2021, and create the future we wish to see.