Believe in Quality
“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.”
Opening Case Study :
Jeff Bezos –Leader with Quality Management
Born on the 12th of 1964, Jeff Bezos is the Founder, chairman and CEO of Amazon.com, the online merchant of everything that has played a signiﬁcant role in the upliftment of eCommerce as well. Are good leadership skills quantiﬁable? Well, in Jeff Bezos’ case, they are. Bezos grabbed the title of the “Richest man in the World” this year, but it took him a lot of work and passion to get there.
It was his love for engineering and computers drove him to start his own business, and his ﬁrst ofﬁce was his garage. In 1994, he founded Amazon, which is today the world’s largest online retail site. His idea was simple: providing everything to everyone anywhere in the world.
One of the best values that have been instilled by him at Amazon is customer care. Hence, his business strategies are customer-centric, not competition focused. As a leader, he believes ideas are birthed out of passion, not trends. He gave Amazon the following vision, back in 1999:
“Our vision is to use this platform to build Earth’s most customer-centric company, a place where customers can come to ﬁnd and discover anything and everything they might want to buy online.”
Having clarity of where you want to reach and being able to inspire people by that is one of the mandatory things for every successful leadership story. But it’s not the only thing, naturally.Hereare the three concepts that Jeff Bezos, as a leader, stands by:
- Stay true to the vision of the organization:It’s very easy for a business person to say “I want to be very customer centric”. It’s even one of the trendy topics on business today, right? So what can a company do to walk its talk?
A very subtle but effective technique that Jeff Bezos uses in his boardroom meetings is the use of an empty chair. He does that to make his team conscious of their customer, who isn’t present but is the most important, the main motive, behind all that.
2. Having Backbone: The greatest risk of all is to not risk at all. One of the things that make Bezos memorable among the swarm of billionaires is his rebellion against the socially constructed norms.
Bezos is a leader who believes that instinct and intuition lead to creative innovations.
He is known for being stubborn enough not to give up, but also ﬂexible enough to be open minded when looking for solutions. He says, “one of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.”
3. Being Bold: “If you decide that you’re going to do only the things you know are going to work, you’re going to leave a lot of opportunities on the table.”This quote by Bezos sheds light on how he, as a leader, advocates thinking outside the box. He is not afraid of being different, as he believes taking risks to execute unique ideas lead to innovation.
Everyone wants quality; however, quality means different things to different people. Some people view it from a consumer’s point of view, while others view it from a suppliers. In essence, the perception of quality is one that meets the needs of the person seeking it. Once quality has been deﬁned, leaders needs to take three steps to ensure the successful implementation and maintenance of their quality process. Committing to, investing in, and maintaining a quality process directly involving the employees within an organization will assist in leading to a successful implementation.
The existence of your business or profession depends on quality of product and services you are offering to your customer and client. Quality depends upon quality of input material, process and quality check for ﬁnal output.Many people believe that in order to achieve quality, one needs to invest a lot of time, money, and effort. Although initially this theory holds some truth, in the long run, leadership within the organization plays a more important role in achieving and maintaining quality. Quality does not evolve overnight. People need to dedicate themselves and their companies to having quality practices and policies in order to gain a reputation of delivering quality.
The three main keys to attaining sustainable quality within the organization include: (1) motivating employees through empowerment to dedicate themselves to their work; (2) investing time and money in training and developing employees into leaders; and (3) reinforcing core values in employees to maintain quality practices. Quality can be achieved if management and workers believe in achieving successful leadership within the organization.
Educating employees on how to work efﬁciently to produce a quality product or service does not come without a cost. Signiﬁcant gains do not come without taking some losses. When leaders invest in training, employees work more knowledgeably and efﬁciently since they understand their job and can ﬁnd ways to improve. Management also needs to receive training, especially when it comes to quality. As long as everyone expands their knowledge, new discoveries for improvement will help enhance quality. This investing in training is the means of investing in quality.
Quality Management stands on 5 key pillars.
- Focus on the Customer – Customers are the true North Star and barometer of a business. In the quality management approach, customer sentiments and feedback are closely monitored through call tracking and surveys.
- Employee Involvement – Employees must understand why the obsession with improvement ultimately gives them the freedom to innovate on their jobs. Leaders try not only to boost the ﬁnancial health of a business, but also improve talent connectedness and communication.
- Process Centeredness – There should be processes to collect and integrate customer and employee feedback. There should be distinct processes to course correct on the quality journey by adjusting strategy and tactics. And even a set of processes to measure the process centeredness of the implementation.
- Integrated Structure – Though the concept advocates structure and processes, isolation is not favored. Different departments in the organization need to learn from each other and reﬁne their processes in collaboration.
- Strategic Approach – Begin with the company vision and objectives to achieve. Set the processes according to this overarching strategy. Then let the quality management changes manifest as changes in culture, vision and objectives.
Leaders needs to ensure they equip their workers with the appropriate tools, skills, and knowledge to eliminate as much rework and waste as possible. Investing in educating workers at the beginning of their employment or project will help alleviate hindrances to quality. The more knowledge an employee receives, the more empowered he or she will feel to speak up in their qualitybased organization.