Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Quality comes from ....

"Quality comes from Ownership with Integrity and appropriate Resources in a healthy Paradigm - lhb"

An "O" and an "I" make a "Q". Ownership, Integrity and appropriate Resources are like a three legged stool, lack of any one will result in the stool toppling over. These three were my beginning thoughts on Quality; for a couple of years, they seemed to be the essence of Quality. However, it dawned on me in the 1990's that you could have all three, but still not achieve Quality. Whenever you have an unhealthy paradigm, where the various facets are at odds with one another, Quality suffers. It doesn't take a lot of smarts to recognize an unhealthy paradigm, where the various agents and resources are not in sync working toward the common objective. This insight revised my view to what it is now; where it has remained as a solid and robust metaphor over two decades.

In terms of math this can be represented as Q = Function(O,I,R,P)
Q = Quality,
O = Ownership,
I = Integrity,
R = appropriate Resources
P = healthy Paradigm

I have shared this view of Quality with many people inside and outside the US over the past couple of decades; they have confirmed the above is the essential ingredients of Quality. It doesn't replace the many approaches to Quality, but it complements them and allows it to be thought of in the simplest terms.

It is interesting to observe how a high Quality paradigm is operating in a well oilled manner can almost suddenly become unheathly by the deteriation of Ownership, Integrity or appropriate Resources. To return it to a healthy Paradigm takes considerable effort and time. During the time my Dad spent several years in long term care facilities, I observed a very Quality operation deteriate into an unhealthy paradigm. Usually it was because of deficients in the Ownership, Integrity or appropriate Resources. To get it back on track took considerable efforts and time.

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