“Leaders at all levels establish unity of purpose and direction and create conditions in which people are engaged in achieving the organization’s quality objectives.”
“Creation of unity of purpose and direction and engagement of people enable an organization to align its strategies, policies, processes and resources to achieve its objectives.”
Quality leadership is where quality principles become “a basis for guiding, empowering and supporting the constant pursuit of excellence by the employees throughout the organization.”
(Feigenbaum, 2007). In this regard the emphasis is on “creating the power of an environment of trust, openness and honest communication to encourage the development of individual quality improvement entrepreneurs.” Leaders have the responsibility to improve the system, i.e. to make it possible, on a continuing basis, for everyone to do a better job with greater satisfaction.”
This focus on empowerment, throughout the organization and in creating leaders is essential. This participatory approach means that quality “is the responsibility of everyone in the company, from top to low level ranks, not just the quality experts”. The CEO’s role is by no means diminished. Rather, he has the added responsibility of creating the proper environment for planning at lower levels.
The cascading process is the key to sharing responsibility. This empowerment means that employees are motivated to improve the corporation and trained for improvement work, they feel comfortable in decision making, and trust exists that the company is dedicated to the development of its employees.
For this to be achieved the “leaders must understand what motivates employees. Managing teams is a key leadership function.”
One of the most comments employee complaints is lack of communication; we know where we are going but we are not all pulling in the same direction. This principle seeks to rectify that. Leadership means creating a unity of purpose and a quality culture clearly defined and communicated organization purpose, values and objectives.
Everyone then understands the organization’s purpose and objectives and are motivated and supported to achieve them.
Applying the principle of leadership typically leads to these actions;
- Communicate the organization’s mission, vision, strategy, policies and processes throughout the organization.
- Considering the needs of all interested parties including customers, owners, employees, suppliers, financiers, local communities and society as a whole.
- Establishing a clear vision of the organization’s future.
- Setting challenging goals and targets.
- Creating and sustaining shared values, fairness, and ethical role models at all levels of the organization.
- Establishing trust and eliminating fear.
- Providing people with the required resources, training and freedom to act with responsibility and accountability.
- Inspiring, encouraging and recognizing people’s contributions.
The Key Benefits
Increased effectiveness and efficiency in meeting the organization’s quality objectives
Better coordination of the organization’s processes
Improved communication between levels and functions of the organization
Development and improvement of the capability of the organization and its people to deliver desired results
Check out the Quality Management Principle #3 in the next article ……
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