Good management systems are about seeking systemic adoption of the most effective solutions.
Here is a simple example. Years ago, my boss was frustrated because an award was sent to the Director’s office to be signed and the awardee’s name was spelled wrong (the third time an awardee’s name had been spelled wrong in a short period). After the first attempts my boss suggested these be checked and double checked… Which they already were but…
I was assisting with efforts to adopt TQM and the time and when she told me the problem and I asked if the names were in the automated spell checker? They were not. I suggested we add them and use the system (automatic spell checking) designed to check for incorrect spelling to do the job. Shift from first looking to blame the worker to first seeing if there is way to improve the system is a simple but very helpful change to make.
This example is simple but it points to a nearly universal truth: if an improvement amounts to telling people to do their job better (pay attention more, don’t be careless, some useless slogan…) that is not likely to be as effective as improving the process.
continue reading: How to Improve