BUILDING QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Rocky Mountain Center for Human Development
Building Quality Competence
A Quality Management System is a way of working to assure sustained success.
It is a way of working that is:
In this process the behavioral skills that are of most importance are those skills
that encourage a set of actions to create successful outcomes even in quality-
deficient scenarios. Managing is more about sociology than it is about
Values define attitude
Attitude influences behavior
Behavior creates culture
Culture reinforces values
In order for a Quality Management System to exist, a majority of those involved
in the system must be competent. Competence is the ability to perform required
tasks at a “role model” level of behavior. There are four component parts
leading to competence:
1. Aptitude: a person's innate ability to perform a task. An organization
2. Skills: a person's learned ability to perform a task. An organization
3. Knowledge: the conscious understanding of the theoretical principles,
must learn how to screen individuals in such a way that the innate
abilities needed to perform in that organization exist in potential
must provide appropriate training so that individuals who have the
innate abilities can learn what is needed to perform effectively.
data and its interpretation, and integrating themes for a particular
subject. An organization and specifically its managers must provide
essential, clear and consistent information to allow members of the
organization to perform effectively.
4. Behavior: the actions that a person takes. The managers of a quality
management system must provide ways to measure, encourage,
evaluate and reward effective behavior. They must do this in such a
way that everyone involved in the organization is motivated to improve
and to contribute to the overall success of the organization.
BEHAVIOR CHANGE IS THE MOST DIFFICULT KIND OF CHANGE TO
FACILITATE! In order for competence to filter through the organization upper
management must have:
A clear understanding of job requirements with a defined set of job
objectives and performance measures which demonstrate that customer
expectations will be met or exceeded.
An approach to performance and performance evaluation which embodies
the values of the organization and uses methods and tools that have been
demonstrated to deliver cost-effective results to customers and makes
employees feel that they are a significant part of the process.
An approach which has been implemented throughout the organization
and has been integrated in consistent and routine work patterns.
An implementation strategy which consistently results in outcomes that
measurably demonstrate desired performance relative to customer
Efforts must be made to identify behavioral competencies which drive successful
performance and to create a survey instrument that permits each member of the
organization to assess their own performance and develop an improvement plan.
Members of an organization who have confidence that the managers of the
organization will give clear assignments; clear and effective feedback and regular
assistance to make improvements, will enter into a process of growth and
development which will eventually make significant contributions back to the
organization. Members of an organization who lack this confidence will often act
out of fear (fear of displeasing upper management) which will ultimately destroy
that individual's ability to make effective contributions to the organization.
According to Greg Watson’s research, successful organizations have all been
found to have managers who are:
Express sincere gratitude (for complaining) and regret (for the problem) to
customers who report difficulties, while neither disclaiming or confirming
Take action to research complaints and establish the limit of company
Present examples of other companies who have been successful
because they listen and rapidly respond to the issues and concerns of
Follow-through in replacing faulty equipment or making other appropriate
correction of problems.
2. A Customer advocate:
Explicitly adopts the viewpoint of the customer.
Acts as if the customer complaints or requests are legitimate--even when
they are not.
Goes out of the way to meet directly with customers.
Uses own customer visit experiences to increase the company's interest
in customer inputs.
Insists others take customer concerns into account.
Takes on the customer's problem as their own.
3. Organizationally astute:
Understands the organizational, functional, or group dynamics associated
with a particular situation.
Acts based on knowledge of the role and significance of different internal
and/or external groups or units.
Recognizes the strengths and limitations of existing procedures with
respect to how individuals respond.
Identifies differences among cultures and groups in appropriate response
to policies and procedures.
Uses data to persuade others.
Makes an effort to change the behavior of others.
Uses well-chosen symbolic events or examples to persuade, motivate, or
Appeals to shared interests.
Specifically aligns self with key influential others.
Offers resources in exchange for commitment or support.
5. Interpersonally diagnostic:
Identifies the specific strengths and limitations of others, and of one's
positional relationship to others.
Puts self in a specific other's position in order to identify their concerns
Adjusts behavior according to the reactions or concerns of specific others.
Assesses individual motivations and takes a flexible approach to
situations in order to build consensus for actions.
Identifies specific goals for self and others.
Allocates resources and efforts to achieve the maximum results or impact.
Emphasizes adherence to and acceptance of appropriate performance
measurement systems for self and others.
Demonstrates a sense of urgency in resolving a problem or issue.
Describes business implications of quality plan.
Executes plans and projects over an extended period of time.
Follows up on issues to ensure that commitments or expectations are
Makes repeated efforts to overcome obstacles, achieve results, or get a
Takes special efforts to maintain long-term relationships with colleagues.
Prioritizes own activities.
Develops a plan of action before proceeding.
Delegates activities to appropriate others.
Orchestrates the activities of others.
9. Mentoring of subordinates:
Provides individuals with specific guidance on how to improve their
Ensures subordinates own responsibility for their activities.
Provides subordinates with resources needed to achieve success.
Delegates responsibility for activities and also decisions to subordinates in
order to develop their competence.
Encourages subordinates to assume additional challenges or
Adjusts own position in order to accommodate interests or concerns of
Enlists the support of influential others before taking action.
Actively solicits the involvement of relevant others to identify problems,
and develop or implement solutions.
Pulls together teams or task forces quickly.
Takes steps to address an issue before it becomes a crisis.
Champions new approaches to improve productivity and quality of work.
Owns responsibility for, or volunteers for, additional assignments beyond
Aware of own strengths, limitations and growth areas and behaves
Maintains calm when personally confronted and open to criticism.
Assumes responsibility for the mistakes or decisions of associates.
Identifies key issues in complex situations.
Identifies underlying themes, cross-cutting issues or patterns that help to
explain a situation.
Identifies major threats and opportunities for the business.
Uses potent metaphors and symbols to articulate a vision or describe a
Willing to take risks.
Identifies "new" solutions to problems.
Responds positively to explicit challenges.
Sets goals that go significantly beyond established standards.
Expends an exceptional level of effort to achieve a desired goal.
Describes a positive impact as a result of having made a presentation or
Tailors communications to the needs of the specific audience.
Puts considerable effort into formulating a communication to ensure that
the "right" message comes across.
Consciously reflects on the form, content, and impact of discussions with
Assumes leadership role in difficult or poorly structured situations.
Takes a strong stand on controversial issues.
Presents and defends a position despite unfavorable reactions from
senior managers or others.
Treats senior managers as peers.
Presents forceful, unambiguous description of own role.
This same research (Watson*) has also shown that a majority of organizational
failures occur due to a prevalence of "fast decisions" made by managers with the
Usually takes the initiative to formulate and force group decisions.
Pushes the group to make conclusions.
Emphasizes the outcome over group process.
Forces subordinates to follow their lead.
Over-confident and directing of others through controlling behavioral
actions and forceful argument or administrative directives.
And a consistent practice of micromanaging which communicates a complete
Lack of trust in employees.
The requirement to improve business is a journey without end, which
necessitates that managers have both a personal desire to win, and a total
commitment to the continuous development of their competence to manage and
lead. This commitment leads them to create an environment, which fosters a
desire to develop competence on the part of all employees and provides the
opportunities for competence to be developed. The most powerful environment
for producing competence is one characterized by two equally linked principles:
Goal setting and being held accountable for accomplishment of set goals
An environment characterized by unconditional positive regard and
Watson, Greg, (1994), Personal Communication of pre publication research
done by Greg Watson with the American Society for Quality and the International