Peter developed his presentation inspired by a recent paper in ASQ’s ‘Quality Progress’ magazine (March 2018 by Arron Angle), and in doing so he shared insights from his considerable experience around the three elements of the paper, CPI: Compliance, Procedures and Improvement. His presentation slides also had some great BBQ images!
Behaviour-based Quality embraces issues like organisational culture, leadership, making decisions based on objective evidence, engagement from the top in walking the talk, and staff living quality in what they do. The ISO High Level Structure for management systems standards embodies these from the very start (organisational context and stakeholders and their needs and expectations, and the prominent role given to Leadership).
One of the participants had senior safety management oversight in a large engineering organisation and he injected lessons from OH&S where behaviour-based safety is a well-established paradigm. It was pointed out that organisations in which there is strong leadership engagement on safety issues (i.e., top management know all the locations where the organisation is conducting work, undertake regular visits there, participate in tool box talks and undertake audits etc) are generally spared the wrath of the regulators where there is an industrial accident; in cases where this is not the case, top management quickly ends up in court and, in many states, are liable for industrial manslaughter).
Prompted by questions from participants who had struggled with getting buy-in to the quality program from top management, we explored ways to do this. (This may be a Café Quality topic next year). Some observed that too many organisations are granted ISO Certification when in fact they fail to comply with the leadership requirements – which questions the effectiveness of ISO Certification and the 3rd Party Auditors who grant Certification.
It was pleasing to meet a couple of new faces in the audience, and some familiar faces we’d not seen for a while. Indeed it seems we always have a few new faces at Adelaide’s events, plus a good selection of our large pool of regulars.
It was a great Cafe Quality session in Adelaide on 15 October – facilitated by Somayeh Ghasemifard – on “Looking beyond Lean: Assessing a Company’s Agility in a Rapidly Changing Environment”.
The presentation defined ‘Agility’ as the ability of an organisation to renew itself, adopt, change quickly and succeed in a rapidly changing, ambiguous environment. The concept of agility includes 1) responding to changes (anticipated or unexpected) in proper ways and due time and 2) exploiting changes and taking advantage of changes as opportunities.
Agility is vital in manufacturing organisations, the services sector, government departments, non-profit agencies and beyond.
Some of the advantages of being an Agile Organisation include:
The presentation went on to exhibit the questionnaire/survey developed for evaluating agility levels and the ‘fuzzy logic’ formula applied to determine a measurement outcome.
Two key questions and passionate discussion by the group took place following the presentation:
1. How agile is your organisation?
2. Which level of agility does your organisation need?
At another well attended meeting, Yuri Osmani (Torrens University) curated a very thought-provoking insight into ‘Quality Management, Social Responsibility and the Role of the B [for Benefit] Corporation’.
Businesses increasingly recognise their role in contributing to Social cohesion in their community and indeed across the world. The term ‘Social Responsibility’ encapsulates the role organisations play in their impact on society and the environment, as evidenced through transparent and ethical behaviour. Yuri noted that organisations have over 200 Standards available to self-assess their status, but only a handful of Standards are currently third party audited with the B Corporation one of the most widely known internationally. As such Certified B Companies seek to balance purpose and profit which they can do by reviewing the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. Continuous Improvement, as manifest by the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle, is the process that drives Sustainable Improvement for organisations but it also assists in raising the bar with new iterations of the Standard.
To fulfil the performance requirement for B Corp Certification, a company completes a free B Impact Assessment (BIA) online designed to help measure and manage a company's positive impact on workers, community, customers and environment. This includes day-to-day operations and business model. Responses to the B Impact Assessment determine a total numeric score. B Corp Certification requires a minimum verified total score of 80 across all impact areas.
Australia & NZ has 270+ certified B Corporations at present.
What followed was considerable discussion and critique by AOQ members of the pragmatic aspects of the standard including implementation, operation, third party audit, cost, recognition and familiarity of B Corporation Marque by the general community, and return on investment for the organisation seeking certification.
Download the presentation here