Newsletter – September, 2011

On My Mind

Quality is alive and well in India! India is the home of numerous Deming Prize winners and two Japan Quality Medal winners. I am a member of the Global Quality Futures Workshop (GQFW). This is an international group of friends who meet once a year to learn from each other. We met in Hyderabad, India this year, but first we had the opportunity on August 3 to visit the Kandivli Plant (near Mumbai) of Mahindra & Mahindra Limited, Farm Equipment Sector. This Mahindra Group business is the world’s largest tractor manufacturer by volume. It won the Deming Prize in 2003 and the Japan Quality Medal in 2007. The hospitality was outstanding. We heard three excellent presentations: TQM Progress in the Farm Equipment Sector; Manufacturing Excellence Journey; and the Mahindra Sales System & Channel Management Processes. We also went on a plant tour. Hyderabad was next. Like Bangalore, it is the home of many information technology operations. There is an excitement in Hyderabad that is indescribable. Construction cranes could be seen throughout the city which is a growth indicator.

Interesting Stories

We toured several interesting sites in the Hyderabad area. One was Hussain Sagar Lake where we took a boat cruise to Lumbini Park. This park is an island with an 18 meter high granite rock statue of the Lord Buddha. The statue weighs over 400 tons. It was transported to Hyderabad in 1988 and subsequently sank to the bottom of the lake. It stayed there until 1992 when it was successfully moved to its current position with the help of the Japanese. We then visited Charminar–an architectural gem that at one time formed the center around which Hyderabad was built. The area surrounding Charminar is home to Muslims and Hindus and is rich in diversity. I photographed a small boy repairing a shoe as our bus was leaving the Charminar area. He was all business and his image triggered thoughts of my Grandfather repairing shoes in Liedtke’s Modern Shoe Shop.

Company News

My first India presentation was made at the Indian Society for Quality Annual Conference ( The topic was, Preserving Quality Superiority: How to Stay on Top if You are #1 in Quality. The presentation summarized the findings discovered by my research team at the Carlson School of Management. My GQFW presentation topic was, Organizational Challenges in Anticipating the Future. Here I discussed some organizational capabilities that can potentially help organizations successfully respond to unimaginable events.

Intriguing Reads

Productivity & Quality Publishing Private Limited ( recently published a book authored by Yukihiro Ando and Pankaj Kumar titled, Daily Management the TQM Way: The Key to Success in Tata Steel. According to Dr. Noriaki Kano, Daily Management is one of the four Total Quality Management vehicles used to achieve an organization’s objectives (Policy Management, Daily Management, Cross-Functional Management, & QC Circles). This book clearly explains the basics of Daily Management through practical examples and case studies from Tata Steel. It is an excellent resource for someone who wants to start mastering the basics of continuous improvement.