Management Article

Tim Lozier’s picture

By: Tim Lozier

Recently, there has been a shift in the way quality is led and implemented in organizations. The updated ISO 9001 standard urges leaders to incorporate quality in all levels of business, from stakeholders to upper management and throughout the entire organization. The new view is this: Quality is everyone’s responsibility, and team leaders should be working to make quality a priority for everyone. That way, the entire team can focus on creating an organizational culture that focuses on improving quality by collaborating toward achieving common goals.

Leaders can take a few simple steps to restructure their quality management processes to better promote quality throughout their organizations. By centralizing all quality information, keeping on top of tasks, and using data to drive decisions, you can create an efficient, collaborative system. This will keep your organization on the cutting edge of quality, compliance, and continuous improvement.

This article will look into three steps you can start taking now toward better quality leadership.

Jonathan Jacobi’s picture

By: Jonathan Jacobi

When I first entered the safety profession, older, more experienced professionals recommended that I consider OSHA as a potential employer. The innuendo I sensed in this advice was that if I worked for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), got to know influential people, and learned how to work the system, I would be in a better position to protect companies from citations and associated penalties. This bothered me: I chose to be in safety because I wanted to protect people.

Decades later, I now appreciate the wisdom of this advice. Staying out of the press for compliance issues is a really good idea and, whether directly stated or not, OSHA-proofing has been a part of every job I’ve held.

Knowledge at Wharton’s picture

By: Knowledge at Wharton

I t wasn’t that long ago that GM ran commercials advertising that its Oldsmobile division didn’t just produce cars for your grandfather, but also for everyone else. It was an attempt to reinvent the brand’s staid image—and it didn’t work.

Now, the Oldsmobile division and its iconic vehicles are gone. GM is starting, albeit slowly, to upend other parts of its business model to thrive and grow in the age of digital platforms and virtual networks. The question is this: Are they moving fast enough?

At the beginning of 2016, GM leaders decided that they wanted to be part of the changing business model landscape in the auto industry by innovating what they did and how they did it. In an interview with The New York Times, GM President Dan Ammann said, “We think there’s going to be more change in the world of mobility in the next five years than there has been in the last 50.” The result: The automaker announced that it was going to invest $500 million in Lyft, a peer-to-peer, ride-sharing service for riders and drivers that competes with Uber, as part of a $1 billion venture financing round that valued it at approximately $5.5 billion, post-financing. As part of GM’s investment, Ammann will join Lyft’s board of directors.

By: Naphtali Hoff

“Honest feedback is hard to take, especially from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.”

—Franklin P. Jones

I once found myself needing to find new employment. The situation that I was leaving had been complex, to say the least, and I worried that perceptions of failure would dog me as I sought new opportunities.

As part of the interview process, I met with an organization’s chief executive, who would have been my direct supervisor. After an in-person interview, he took the time to try to research my situation to determine whether I would be an asset to him. Soon after our meeting, he called me to say that he had spoken with people familiar with my performance and was prepared to hire me now that he better understood my “blind spots.”

As you could well imagine, this half-baked endorsement did not do much to increase my desire to work for him. On a positive note, the conversation did alert me to an important aspect of leadership that leaders often fail to perceive—namely, their blind spots.

Ken Voytek’s picture

By: Ken Voytek

In a recent post, I examined the differences in productivity across small and large manufacturing firms, and noted that there were differences across manufacturers in terms of size. But it’s also clear from the literature that productivity differs across companies even in the same industry.

By: Manuel Sosa

Back in 2004, I was saddled with a two-hour commute to work almost every day. Fortunately, I had something with me to make the experience more bearable: my new third-generation iPod. Many of you probably remember your first iPod experience, how great it was to carry your entire music library in your pocket. This little device and the iTunes music store that launched with it transformed the music industry forever. During those long commutes, I had ample time to ponder what made this innovation so special.

It can’t just be the technology, I thought. There were MP3 players with similar functionality on the market years before the iPod, but none of them made a comparable impact. It wasn’t what the device could do that really set the iPod apart, but how it made you feel. A design coup if there ever was one.


Companies that produce highly user-friendly and innovative products are those that know how to mix functionality with design.

Barry Plunkett’s picture

By: Barry Plunkett

For top executives to add value to their organizations, those in the C suite must learn how to recruit, train, nurture, maintain, and retain exceptional employees who understand customers. If an organization wants to not just survive, but also succeed, it must anticipate its customers’ needs and adjust its direction and momentum accordingly. A successful company does that by fulfilling customer requirements and desires more effectively than the competition. Becoming an anticipatory organization guided by visionary leadership is essential for growth.

If you don’t have the internal resources to identify and enhance these value-added executive qualities, it’s worth the investment to reach out to someone who can assist you in the executive leadership enhancement process. Hopefully, your C suite is staffed with intelligent, motivated people who are experts in their specific areas of responsibility. However, that alone is no longer enough if you want to stand out as a value-added organization.

Annelise Orleck’s picture

By: Annelise Orleck

Pico Rivera is a dusty working-class Latino suburb of Los Angeles. After the school district, Walmart is the city’s largest employer and the source of 10 percent of its tax revenue. More than 500 families in the town depend on income from the store. The town is also the epicenter of activism by Walmart workers in the United States. Walmart associates have been fighting for four years to pressure the world’s largest private employer to grant its workers decent conditions, a living wage, and regular hours.

Last fall, I flew to Los Angeles to interview Pico Walmart workers for a book I’m writing about the 21st-century struggle by workers worldwide for a living wage. The Pico workers helped to galvanize that movement by organizing the first strike against a U.S. Walmart in 2012. Since that time, the world has seen expansive organizing by garment workers, farm workers, fast food workers, and retail workers from Cape Town to Canada, Bangladesh to Brazil, and Cambodia to California.

Ruth P. Stevens’s picture

By: Ruth P. Stevens

As the initial wild enthusiasm for customer relationship management (CRM) begins to plateau, and companies become increasingly skeptical of inflated claims for success, it’s time to take a hard look at how CRM projects should be measured. What is “successful” CRM, anyway? How will you know it when you see it? When will your millions of dollars in CRM investments pay off?

Steve Diorio, president of IMT Strategies, recently interviewed CRM heads at 50 companies and was astounded at how few of them had any metrics in mind at all. “Ninety percent of them had no ROI model in place,” he notes. “They just took a leap of faith that they needed CRM.”

For companies already involved in CRM, you might say the barn door on success measures is open, and the horses are long gone. The right time to ask these questions is at the beginning of a CRM project. In fact, the best approach to defining the right metrics is to identify the benefits your company seeks from CRM. Out of those benefits will naturally flow the appropriate strategic and tactical measures to keep you on track.

Chad Kymal’s picture

By: Chad Kymal

The aerospace standard AS9100 Revision D was originally planned to be released in April 2014. Many of us close to the standard expected it to be released in May 2016 after the April International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) meeting in Singapore. However, this was not the case; the IAQG decided to release the English version, along with all the required IAQG language, in October 2016.

The late release of the standard, coupled with the September 2018 transition deadline date remaining unchanged, increases the pressure on organizations planning on transitioning to AS9100 Rev. D.

Let’s explore the challenges to organizations planning their transition by first understanding the changes that AS9100 Rev. D reflects; deciding on which of the other AS standards should be implemented along with AS9100 Rev. D; and looking at other decisions and strategies, such as using integrated management systems and related software. After that we’ll present the transition deadlines and consider their implications.

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