Quality Professionals as Executives

T

tarheel

#1
I was wondering why no quality people get promoted to CEO, COO status. If you look at the latest scandals, almost all of them are from the financial side of the business. It looks to me like business could use a little ethics lesson, and thats where us quality guys live. Look forward to your opinions.
 
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A
#2
Because is necesary to have other skills, a mixture skills like political, financial, talking expresion etc.
 
T

tarheel

#3
You don't think quality people have those skills? We must prepare budgets, be salesman with customers and convince other managers to do things they don't want to do. Sound like leadership to me.
 

RoxaneB

Change Agent and Data Storyteller
Super Moderator
#4
In my experience, those of us playing this Quality game are not political enough. We may know how to prepare budgets, sell people on our ideas, etc., but when it comes to sugar-coating the truth, many of us don't do that.

We tell it as we see it...no dancing around the issues. If there is a problem with the system, we acknowledge it and buckle down to resolve it. We don't assign committees or task groups to study the concept. We want it resolved and we want it resolved now. Our Stakeholders are the ones who will pay the price, ultimately, if a problem in the system goes unchecked.

CEO's are notorious for playing the game. They'll dance as long as is necessary. Make statements that can not be measured. It is almost opposite to what those of us in Quality represent.
 
A

Anton Ovsianko

#5
Of cource, this statement is not in 100% of cases true, however mostly.

I voted, 'we do not want the responsibility'. There are too basic types of employees: managers (executives) and experts (consultants). A person's choice of a career (to growas a manager or as an expert?) Experts (consultants) work out decisions. Managers (executives) take the decisions and bear the responsibility for them.

Quality people committed to quality functions within a company are, first of all, experts. Chief of quality department excersises linear authoritie over the quality depertment only, while the quality depertment plays roles of: motivator, mediator, communicator, expert and so on for all other departments of the company.
Quality people in the companies I know usually have technical or management consulting background. Rare managers switch to quality functions.

Management representatives are an exclusion. I am not sure that they are quality people by 100%. All MR's, I know, vice versa, have management background. It is natural. They must have enough authority to make people believe in what has to be done for the sake of quality. At the same time they do not have to have the same level of quality management knowledge as the people in quality department.

IMHO

Anton
 
T

tarheel

#6
.
Jim said many quality people actively distance themselves I think we distance ourselves, but not actively. We are set up be different because we must represent ourselves as the "voice of the customer" No other manager takes on that responsibility, even though they should. This necessarily puts us at odds with the rest of the managers, but instead of upper management viewing our independence as a virtue, I think it is viewed negatively, like we are not a team player. Its a fine line to walk being a customer advocate and a team player at the same time. And if you don't think lack of ethics is a big deal, just read the news. The push to create "shareholder value"is making a lot of senior executives do things they should not do. And you are right, I'm not sure I want to be put in that position, I might give in to temptation myself.:thedeal:
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#7
I don’t agree that most QM’s purposefully or actively distance themselves from Management. To the contrary, most of them I know, myself included, fight hard to close any distance between themselves and management. Personally, I feel that to do my job well I have to be working closely with Management and my most successful jobs were those where I didn’t just have the title saying I was a part, but I was actually in there rooting around with them in all aspects of the business including issues ranging from HR to capital budgets, strategic planning, Sales and Marketing, as well as, of course, Manufacturing. Often problems occurred when Quality was not a part of the “team” on some issue. Many times this was because Manufacturing “Management” was trying to cut corners or break rules without being “caught”. Quality is, or should be, such a core part of the business that any good QM trying to distance themselves is either the wrong person for the job or else they are trying to separate themselves from wrongdoing. It should be just as unacceptable as Sales and Marketing trying to distance themselves from Management. JMHO
 
T

tarheel

#8
Mike you just made my analogy for me. When you say manufacturing is trying not to get "caught" . Look at a football team. Is it the quarterbacks job to catch the lineman breaking curfew? No, it is the coach, and there is necessarily a wall there between the coach and the players, even though they are all on the same "team". The same is true for quality, they have to be part of the team, but they also have to police the team, and that builds barriers, like it or not. I think I have done a pretty good job over the years walking that line, but it is not easy. I don't think quality should actively distance themselves either, I just think it is a natural outcome of their job in most plants.
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#9
Tarheel said" Look at a football team. Is it the quarterbacks job to catch the lineman breaking curfew? No, it is the coach, and there is necessarily a wall there between the coach and the players, even though they are all on the same "team". The same is true for quality, they have to be part of the team, but they also have to police the team, and that builds barriers, like it or not.

Tarheel, I understand your point. I could argue, if I were in the mood to argue, that if the QB is truly one of the team leaders both on and off the field (beyond his title of leadership on the field), and the team was dedicated to winning, he just might consider it part of his "job" to bust the lineman's butt for breaking curfew. His "penalty" may be different than the coaches, though. I think I have heard of "team leaders" on pro and amateur baseball and football teams doing just such things -- kinda handling things on their own even for off-the field stuff. Heck, I know I have seen it even in high school and lower levels! Any coaches or players in here to add anything?

But I agree it is not possible in every culture.
 
R

Randy Stewart

#10
I think you have to list the differences in the areas too. Business (I know there are rules and laws) deals in visions, negotiations, arbitrations, etc. Where as Quality deals in absolutes, + / - tolerances, pass / fail, go / no-go, etc. It isn't always easy to go from marked boundries to brain storming.

So Jim I think you're right in certain terms. It's hard to live in both worlds, not impossible but the transition may be mistaken for distancing. And it works for the Non-Political arguement too.

This is where I really like the process approach. We are not policing product we are helping manufacturing improve process.
:cool:
 
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