Leadership Standards - New job as Quality Manager

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pinal73

#1
I have been reading this forum for a long time and appreciate the knowledge everyone shares here.
I recently accepted a new job as Quality Manager for multi plant corporation that has came together by acquisitions or mergers hence there is no standard quality system across the company. I am currently working on deploying a standard QMS but I am finding inconsistencies across various plant's leadership approach that can hinder my efforts hence I believe I first need to provide the leadership standards for the PLT (Plant Leadership Team). Has anyone developed Quality Leadership Standards that can give me some guidelines or examples as to where to start defining this?

Thanks
 
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Chennaiite

Never-say-die
Trusted Information Resource
#2
Not sure what you exactly mean by Leadership standards. But there are enough responsibilities given to Leadership in ISO 9001, particularly in Clause 5. In fact ISO 9001 requirements are guided by 8 Management principles basically. It is based on these principles that Leaders have to respond to situation. And then there are Deming's 14 Management principles - an excellent tool for Leaders, some of them could be debatable though.

Having said that, Leadership in my view is not something that can be learnt from a piece of paper. There are so many things that go into exhibition of one's Leadership quality. Two equally successful Leaders need not necessarily have the same approach.
 
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John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#3
I have been reading this forum for a long time and appreciate the knowledge everyone shares here.
I recently accepted a new job as Quality Manager for multi plant corporation that has came together by acquisitions or mergers hence there is no standard quality system across the company. I am currently working on deploying a standard QMS but I am finding inconsistencies across various plant's leadership approach that can hinder my efforts hence I believe I first need to provide the leadership standards for the PLT (Plant Leadership Team). Has anyone developed Quality Leadership Standards that can give me some guidelines or examples as to where to start defining this?

Thanks
pinal,

Instead of trying to change the leaders enable them to change themselves. Showing them a standard will not do this. Basic supervisory training for all, including the "good" leaders may be the longer-term answer.

Meanwhile, capture the management system, for determining and fulfilling customer requirements, as it is not as you'd like it to be. Make sure you capture the process-based management system, not the one that is based on departments, politicking and power plays.

Advise and help top management to choose and authorize the process owners so you can work with them.

Use a process model that shows the importance of resources and controls. Of course, the controls include care for the requirements. Highlight how respectful leaders cause people (process teams) to care about the requirements. Report the consequences of capable and incapable processes.

Prioritize improvement of the incapable processes. These also will probably include processes or parts of process teams that are badly led. If so, ensure basic supervisory skills training is part of the corrective action until you have the evidence that this training should be mandatory for all who get work done by other people.

Repeated improvement cycles will get the system where you want it to be and, even better, the leaders and their teams will have done it for themselves.

In short, help the leaders to develop and use their management system to change themselves while improving organizational performance.

John
 
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John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Last edited:

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#5
The way I understood the original request in this thread is someone in a "corporate quality" position asking how to develop a common framework/platform to be deployed for the top management (aka leadership) of each site/plant to better understand a common (corporate) approach to quality.

I have dealt with many people in similar situations in the past and it is a very hard position to be in because corporations that grow by acquisition have to deal with multiple corporate cultures and one of the most difficult things to change in the business world is corporate culture.

My advice is this:

1. understand quality as the sum of customer satisfaction + product integrity & conformity + business excellence.
2. Have the corporate CEO sending a message and demonstrate his commitment to quality in a clear, unquestionable way.
3. understand and educate the leadership of each plant/site that sustainable quality can ONLY BE ACHIEVED when it is embedded in the business processes of each organization. I.e., quality has to be embedded in sales, marketing, product design, purchasing, production, supply chain management, etc.

Be tenacious because you will experience setbacks. Corporations that grow by acquisition are extremely hard to manage from a corporate perspective. Resistance will be fierce in some sites, thus the need for the CEO to have your back. Setting corporate policies is easy, compared to the task of enforcing them. When I was with a certification body, some of the large accounts that I managed used our involvement in auditing their sites also as a way of assessing if corporate policies were being followed in addition to auditing against international standards and customer requirements.

I wish you good luck because you will need it.
 
P

pinal73

#6
Sidney,
You are spot on your assumptions, I am in a corporate quality role. I appreciate your insight.
 

kgott

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
Pinal73, What John Broomfield has said has my 100% support. It says at Note 1. at clause 4.1:

"Processes needed for the quality management system referred to above include processes for management activities, provision of resources, product realization, measurement, analysis and improvement."

Refer to this as the company's quality management system. When they have become accustomed to hearing this drop the word quality.
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#9
The way I understood the original request in this thread is someone in a "corporate quality" position asking how to develop a common framework/platform to be deployed for the top management (aka leadership) of each site/plant to better understand a common (corporate) approach to quality.

I have dealt with many people in similar situations in the past and it is a very hard position to be in because corporations that grow by acquisition have to deal with multiple corporate cultures and one of the most difficult things to change in the business world is corporate culture.

My advice is this:

1. understand quality as the sum of customer satisfaction + product integrity & conformity + business excellence.
2. Have the corporate CEO sending a message and demonstrate his commitment to quality in a clear, unquestionable way.
3. understand and educate the leadership of each plant/site that sustainable quality can ONLY BE ACHIEVED when it is embedded in the business processes of each organization. I.e., quality has to be embedded in sales, marketing, product design, purchasing, production, supply chain management, etc.

Be tenacious because you will experience setbacks. Corporations that grow by acquisition are extremely hard to manage from a corporate perspective. Resistance will be fierce in some sites, thus the need for the CEO to have your back. Setting corporate policies is easy, compared to the task of enforcing them. When I was with a certification body, some of the large accounts that I managed used our involvement in auditing their sites also as a way of assessing if corporate policies were being followed in addition to auditing against international standards and customer requirements.

I wish you good luck because you will need it.
I agree with Sidney that changing corporate culture is a difficult task, BUT it is important that the managers of each division in the conglomeration share the same culture ONLY if they are vertically integrated. The intrinsic nature of the conglomerate is important.

SAME INDUSTRY
Some clients I have dealt with have grown by accretion in the same industry in order to take advantage of some economies of scale and to create a "hive" of industry with the different factions working toward a common goal of customer delight with the end products. Common quality policy and culture adds to efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability.

VARIETY OF INDUSTRIES
Sometimes (rarely), I encounter conglomerates with acquisitions that have no common thread except the ownership. This was much more prevalent in the GO-GO 70s and 80s, when conglomerates with excess cash and easy credit availability were going out and buying controlling interest in completely unrelated companies in different industries. In some cases, a conglomerate might own a mortgage bank, an automobile muffler manufacturer, and a railroad, wrapping them all under one corporate banner. Reasons for these acquisitions were mostly tied up in sheltering profits by using tax credits from some of the businesses. Ultimately, there was zero interaction between the companies under the corporate umbrella and thus no necessity for an "umbrella" corporate policy. The corporate parent was primarily a source of less expensive credit for financing capital improvements and receivables financing to provide steady cash flow.

Thus, if the companies under your corporate umbrella have a synergy in producing products for a single industry, the primary focus of your approach to the top corporate people should be how a common quality policy and practice (the culture of quality) can bring efficiency and effectiveness to the mix, generating higher profits, and, therefore garnering the support of the top brass. Without that support (visible and tangible), the task will be almost insurmountable.
 
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W

Walnut

#10
I was a Corporate Quality Manager with responsibility for 5 facilities a number of years ago. I found that by working closely with the VP of Operations who had overall responsibility for all 5 locations we were pretty effective. Good luck if the Corporate culture is very different at each location. Changing that is not something I never had much luck at except by extreme attrition. :nope:
 
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