A Systems Approach to Quality Improvement

A Systems Approach to Quality Improvement

A Systems Approach to Quality Improvement

A Systems Approach to Quality Improvement

Synopsis

While many quality improvement programs in business have enjoyed initial success, most have eventually failed--not producing the desired long-term results. And while many companies have quality improvement programs in place, few have developed comprehensive, systemic approaches which take into account the whole organization's immediate and long-range needs. This work presents a systemic whole, to discuss the results when such a comprehensive quality system in out into place, and to identify the key obstructions to the successful implementation of a quality improvement program.

Excerpt

Recently, I was flying from the United States to Australia to give a talk about the trends in quality and participation in the United States. Since the cabin was pressurized throughout the trip, I assume that the ideas that came to mind were not due to a lack of oxygen, but to the enforced opportunity to reflect on what forces were behind the creation of a now 20-year-old quality and participation forest. While some argue and perhaps hope that this forest is simply a very aggressive weed and not the dominant or climax species, I began to see during that 17-hour flight that three positive megatrends are driving individuals and groups in society to nurture and grow this seemingly new way of managing and organizing work. I also remembered one negative megatrend that for a while will continue to retard the full establishment of the new work forest. The trends I discussed were accompanied with a final caveat--look for people, examples, and books that will help you understand and cooperate with these trends. And especially look for resources that will help you apply what has been learned to date about the trends.

The forest example may bring the cutting-edge metaphor to mind, but this doesn't really capture the problem and it implies that it is something to be sliced up or through. The problem for individuals and organizations is not so much to be on the cutting edge as it is to ride the wave. Those who can't learn or won't even dare to ride the wave of change will certainly be swept away by it. Just as gravity, the moon, the earth's rotation, winds, and temperature change all have an impact on the size of a wave or an . . .

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