Newsletter – August, 2015

On My Mind
The Deming Prize is the most prestigious organizational quality award in the world. The annual application and awards process is administered by the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE). Winners of the Deming Prize are eligible to challenge for the Deming Grand Prize after a multi-year waiting period. The global hot spot for Deming Prize winners the past ten years has been India – over twenty organizational entities from India have won the Deming Prize since 2000. The Deming Prize has six evaluation items: (1) Management policies and their deployment regarding quality management, (2) New product development and/or work process innovation, (3) Maintenance and improvement of product and operational qualities, (4) Establishment of systems for managing quality, quantity, delivery, costs, safety, environment, etc., (5) Collection and analysis of quality information and utilization of IT, and (6) Human resources development. Organizations are evaluated on the six items from four angles (perspectives): (1) Effectiveness, (2) Consistency, (3) Continuity, and (4) Thoroughness.  It is worth studying the Deming Prize information available on the JUSE website if only to understand the type of organization leaders need to create in order to successfully challenge for the most prestigious organizational quality award in the world.

Interesting Stories
I needed some Band-Aids on a recent trip and so I went to the hotel front desk one morning and showed the front desk worker the type of Band-Aid I needed and I said, “I would like three Band-Aids like this one.” The worker searched in the back room, returned, and stated, “We don’t have any, but we can go buy some and leave three in your room.” Although very surprised, I replied, “Great!” When I returned to my room later that evening – no Band-Aids! I called the front desk and they sent someone promptly with one Band-Aid. I said to the person, “Thank you, but I need three.” He said he would be right back with some more. I waited for about an hour and then decided to go to dinner. When I returned – there were three Band-Aids in an envelope that had been slipped under my door. Now I have four Band-Aids. Another person knocked on my door later that evening and he proudly presented me with yet another Band-Aid. I’m not certain what all transpired for me to end up with five Band-Aids, but a spaghetti diagram would have been interesting to see. Perhaps you can conduct your own Band-Aid experiment the next time you visit a hotel. My experience brought a smile to this weary traveler’s face.

Company News
I will be presenting on “Quality, Analytics, & the Big Data Revolution” at the Global Quality Futures Workshop in August. The accompanying paper bearing the same title will be available in early October. There are three major Strategic Improvement Systems events to be held this fall. The ten day public Continuous Improvement Black Belt course schedule is set: September 15-17, October 19-21, November 17-19, and December 21. The nine day public Continuous Improvement Master Black Belt course schedule is set: September 21-23; October 28-30; December 1-2; and December 17. Finally, the Seventh Annual Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices Conference will be held October 7 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. There will be presentations under two major themes: Innovation and Organizational Sustainability (in the environmental) sense. All three brochures are available on this web-site.

Intriguing Reads
There are probably as many “strategy frameworks” as there are authors – which makes the decision on how to approach strategy formulation quite difficult for leaders. This problem is made easier if you read the new book by Reeves, Haanaes, and Sinha titled, “Strategy Needs a Strategy: How to Choose and Execute the Right Approach.” The authors present and describe in considerable depth five strategy approaches (Classical, Adaptive, Visionary, Shaping, Renewal) and provide guidelines on which one might be the most appropriate for different organizational situations. Best wishes in determining which strategy approach is appropriate for your organization.