Role Any decision needs to be changed

of Leaders in TQM.

suggests having participative leadership. Everyone is responsible for
maintaining and improving quality on a continuous basis. However, top
management has a greater role to serve as they take all strategic decisions.
The nature of top leadership sets the culture necessary for TQM to succeed in

companies in India as well as abroad provide leadership training at all levels.
Companies have established leadership councils to train functional leaders to
make strategic decisions. Top B-schools also have many courses tailor made for
companies to train leaders. A firm might have
employed all best practices of the industry, but the top leadership should take
the responsibility of putting quality management practices together in order to
take the company to a new level.

How does leadership play a role in
improving quality management? There
are many ways in which leaders can contribute towards the implementation of
quality practices to improve the performance of their company.

1.      Develop
and Provide proper environment:

The work environment and the
relationship with employees need to be maintained in such a way that it fosters
employee responsibility and make them involved in the development of the

2.      Lead
by example

Leaders should always lead in front
instead of passing an order from behind. The leader should start following
quality practices which will percolate into everyone in the industry. They
should engage themselves actively and visibly in quality efforts.

3.      Be

A true leader needs to have a 3600
vision before implementing any strategy. Any decision needs to be changed if it
hurts either internal or external customer. All qualities of employees must be
used properly to make best use of them. This way, every step taken will yield
maximum success.

4.      No
need to use technology everywhere

Leaders need to learn what is
happening in the company. Latest technologies like Closed Circuit Cameras will
serve the purpose. But, such technologies will not help leaders to understand
the workers properly. For this a simple technique called as management by
wandering around (MBWA) must be practiced. In this leaders go to every place,
meet every worker regularly. Thus a rapport develops between leaders and
workers. JRD Tata from TATA group was one such leader who used to join workers
to solve any issues without any pride or prejudice.


5.      Conflict

No company is free from conflicts.
Conflicts occur because for differences. A leader should not overlook such
conflicts. They need to address such issues quickly before it destroys the
whole organization. They should have an impartial, unbiased mindset while
resolving conflicts.

6.      Follow
transformational leadership

A transformational leader will have
an end goal in mind and works towards achieving the same. A transformational
leader will motivate and empower his employees to achieve and exceed the

7.      Institute

Training of employees will bring in
new confidence to employees. Knowledge about all tools and techniques will
create freshness in the minds of employees. They work with enthusiasm and
contribute to the organization. Conduct seminars, provide books and magazines
containing quality improvement techniques to make them aware about tools and
techniques to improve quality.

8.       Involve employees

Employees must be made a part of
all decisions. A leader should not just make employees follow instructions, but
make them think and take right decisions. The authority and responsibility
should go to the lowest level. Making workers take appropriate decisions will
bring in a new life blood in the organization. Workers will pride in their

9.      Communicate
results of TQM and Celebrate success

After involving employees in all
aspects of the company, they will be eager to know the result. Hence, it is
very important to communicate the results of TQM to employees. In case of
success they need to be motivated to do more. In case of success, top leaders
should celebrate success. By recognizing efforts of workers we can make them
contribute more to the company. There should not be any second thought in
thanking them. In case of failure they need to be told about the reasons for
failure. This will make them understand why they could not find success. Thus
they will improve and look forward for success.

10.  Listen
to your customers

Customers are integral part of a
TQM organization. Both internal and external customers must be looked upon with
the same importance. Without the support of internal customers, requirements of
external customers cannot be met. Hence, a TQM leader should listen to both
internal and external customers. 



TQM implementation

Quality Management, management and employees are committed towards the
improvement of production of quality goods and services on a continuous basis.
The individual and organizational goals are aligned to reduce the waste and
make production and service defect free. To make this possible, TQM should be
implemented properly. Following steps act as guidelines for its implementation.

implementation should begin with top management. TQM requires the change in the
mind set of employees than implementation of new technology. Hence, CEO should
take the lead role in implementing TQM. Citizens follow the king; similarly,
employees follow their leaders. Delegation of authority or responsibility will
not solve TQM issues. Top leaders should involve at every stage of
implementation of TQM. They need to assess current culture, customer
satisfaction and quality practices.

management should also be properly educated about the implementation of TQM.
They need to attend seminars, read articles and books, and visit industries
where TQM has been implemented. As TQM involves cultural change within
industry, its implementation needs to be tailor made as per the culture of the
company. Senior management should look into this matter very seriously. They
need to identify the core values and principles of their industry and fine tune
the implementation process.

getting trained, top leaders need to check whether the organization is ready
for the implementation. The timing of change is to be checked thoroughly before
implementing it. Employees need to be educated about the change and
expectations from them in new program. If employees are convinced about TQM, is
implementation will be smooth and easy.

form a steering committee called as quality council. The momentum of the TQM effort is
managed by the steering committee. The development of quality statements and
guiding principles aligned with the core values of the company is the main job
of the quality council. They are also responsible for development of long term
strategic plans and quality programs. They will plan the training activities
and performance measures for the organization. They will establish reward and
recognition system to motivate employees.

Next, quality improvement teams must
be established. During the formation of quality improvement teams, middle
management and lower level management must be involved. Top management cannot
work on implementation alone without active support from people down the line. In
case of trade Unions, it must be made a part of every discussion and decision. The
training on tools and techniques of TQM for everyone involved should follow.
The flow diagram of the process flow must be discussed and finalised.

Finally, TQM
must be communicated to the entire organization. All stakeholders must be
involved in the program. Customer and supplier surveys will help to obtain the
inputs before implementation. Toyota when started its plant in India, had very
few Indians during initial stage. Later all those who were selected were
thoroughly trained in Japan, before being placed in India. Thus, we should not
rush through the implementation of TQM. It should be done smoothly at slow and
steady pace by involving everyone.



Core values, concepts and framework

After oil shock of 1970s world was moving towards a quality
era. Quality was perceived as the most important criteria to stay in the
business. Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) by USA and Deming’s
award by Japan were instituted in 1980s to encourage companies to produce
quality products and services. A criterion was developed to measure the
quality. These criteria were built upon a set of interrelated core values and
concepts found in high-performing organizations.  The Criteria help to assess performance on a
wide range of key business indicators: customer, product and service,
financial, human resource, and operational. 
These criteria have helped companies to link key business requirements,
to work towards a result oriented framework.



for MBNQA: it follows a systems approach by following 7 categories.  They are:



Leadership—in this category, the ability
of senior executives to guide and sustain the organization is examined. They
also verify how the organization addresses Governance, ethical, legal and
community responsibilities.

Strategic planning—in this category
the ability of the organization to examine how it sets strategic directions and
how it determines and deploys key action plan are examined.

Customer focus—here, the commitment of
the organization towards meeting requirements and expectations of customers and
markets, building good relationships with customers, and retaining them is

Measurement, analysis, and knowledge
management—in this category, the ability o the management to use, analysis,
and improve data to support key organization processes as well as how the
organization uses this information to review 
its performance is examined.  

Workforce focus—in this category, a
study is done to check how the organization engages, manages, and develops all
those actively involved in accomplishing the work of the organization. They also
verify the ability of the organization to develop to its full potential and the
degree to which workforce is aligned with the organization’s objectives.

Process management—in this category,
the aspects design, management and improvement of  key production and support processes are

Results—finally, the organization’s performance and
improvement in its key business areas like customer satisfaction, financial and
marketplace performance, workforce, product/service, and operational
effectiveness, and checked . The category also examines how the organization
performs relative to competitors.


Core values and

The behaviour of
top leadership holds the key for organizational success. Everyone in the
industry must have a common purpose. While every kind of behaviours is
important, MBNQA considers following core values and concepts as critical for
the award. They form the nucleus of the behaviour of an effective leader.

The criteria are built on a set of core values and concepts
that are interrelated, embedded beliefs found in high performing organizations.
They are:

leadership – the leaders need to have a vision or a long term goal. Quality statements should be clearly
defined. They should set directions and create a customer
orientated approach with clear and visible quality values and high
expectations. They should guide
the creation of strategies, systems, and methods to ensure ongoing
organizational success. They need to create and ensure a supportive and
collaborative environment that inspires the organization and others to achieve
high performance. They need to follow inclusive management by encouraging
inputs from everyone.

driven excellence – Leaders need to understand today’s customer’s desires as
well as future innovations. They are expected to build a customer-focused culture and integrate customer
engagement as one of the strategic concepts. They need to anticipate changing
and emerging customer and market requirements. They should meet challenges from
competitors through the development of organizational knowledge, skills, and
core competencies.

learning and agility – Organizations should adopt new goals and approaches. Organization
need to develop a capacity
for rapid change and for flexibility in operations that helps
in reduced defects, cycle time, enhancing value to customer, developing new
opportunities. Personal learning helps to achieve more satisfaction, better
work environment. Agility inspires
the organization to make transformational changes despite ever-shorter cycle
times. That also creates an empowered workforce that effectively uses evolving
organizational knowledge.

people – Organizations need to demonstrate commitment to employees, sharing the
success, rewards and compensation system. Employees must be treated as internal
customers as well as partners along with suppliers, dealers and end users. They
need to builds and
foster an organizational culture that focuses on engagement, development, and well-being
of workforce members. It must work towards creation of trust, cooperation and ensure
safety to everyone. They must capitalize on the diversity of the workforce and
partners to achieve more instead of curbing the diversity.

on success – organizations should focus on future by understanding both short
and long term factors that affect the marketplace success. Improvement and innovation must be
carried on forever.

by innovation – Customer’s demands are ever changing. This poses new challenges
to organizations every day. Hence, they need to bring meaningful changes to
existing products. Work towards building an environment that empowers the workforce to take
intelligent risks.

by facts – customers have become smart and intelligent. Organizations cannot fool
them with their speeches and advertisements. They need to present the fact that
can be readily measured and analysed based on cost, and market performance.
They must use data analysis to think from
a broader perspective and take a decision for future.

responsibility and ethics– Awareness on importance of protection of health,
safety and environment for sustainability has lead to new sets of action from
organizations. They need to lead by example towards social responsibility and
environment safety. People will reject such offers, which may cause injury to
their health and safety. This drives environmental, social, and economic betterment of the
community as a personal and organizational goal. Organizations are required to
demonstrate highly ethical behaviour in all organizational activities and
interactions. They should create transparency through two way communication of
clear and accurate information.

values and results –organizations must focus on key results and create values
for all stakeholders. This
helps the organization to achieve excellent performance results.

perspective – Systems perspective follows an input, a process and an output.
Similarly, overall performance requires organization specific synthesis,
alignment and integration. This helps to focus in strategic direction make sum of the parts
more than the whole.

Quality Statements

statements form the back bone of a visionary leadership. Leadership abilities
are measured on how well your quality statements are defined. Quality
statements include vision, mission and quality policy statement. These
statements reflect the core culture and values of an organization. They
represent their commitment towards the achievement of quality. The
top management is responsible for accurate and obvious quality statements


Vision statement

represents the future state of the company. It reveals the future aspirations
of an organization. It also describes how the company looks in future. It is a
long term perception of the company. Normally, Vision statement is not revised.
Vision statement should be short and clearly understandable. Vision statements
become integral part of the company. The excellence of a company can be
demonstrated through hits vision.

example, Amazon’s vision statement is “To be earth’s most
customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and
discover anything they might want to buy online.” We can observe that how
Amazon has built a relationship with its customers and how reliable its
services are. We can surely observe that the company is moving towards being
the most customer centric company.

example is of Godrej. Its vision is to see “Godrej in every home and
workplace”. We can see the range of products of the company to have helped
the company move towards achieving the vision.


Mission statement

statements represent the route of action/s to achieve the vision. It highlights
the scope of organization’s operations to achieve the vision. It answers the questions
of how the vision can be achieved. There can be more than one mission statement
to answer the business goals and philosophies. They are also used to describe
company’s competitive advantages. Thus, mission statements provide the clear
picture for stakeholders of accompany whether the vision is achievable or not. Mission
statements can be revised if required, to achieve the vision.

previous example of vision of Godrej Company, it wanted to be in everyone’s
house and workplace. How can it achieve this vision? This is understood by its
mission statements. They are “Enriching quality of life”

day, everywhere”.

can understand that if Godrej can enrich quality of life definitely it can be
seen in everyone’s house and workplace.

mission statement of Amazon is, “To leverage technology and expertise of
invaluable employees and to provide customer with best shopping experience on
the internet”. The vision and mission are interlinked as they are both
customer centred.


Quality Policy

policy statement defines the commitment of an organization towards quality. It
is a guideline for everyone in the organization that helps them understand how
their work affects the product or service quality. A quality statement must be
integrated with the quality practices of the company. While writing the quality
policy statement the following guidelines must be followed.

the quality practices of the company

the commitment to continuous improvement

by everyone in the organization

as required.

statements are integral part of any organization. They demonstrate the real
status of an organization. They should be drafted carefully and an integrated
effort by everyone must be ensured to achieve them all. Further, top management
must be flexible to revise mission and quality policy statement as and when






Strategic planning

to Sharplin, “Strategic Management is defined as the formulation and
implementation of plans and carrying out of activities relating to the matters
which are of vital, pervasive or contusing importance to the total

is a basic structure underlying a system of plans or methods that help the
organisation to achieve its stated objectives.

planning process involves studying current process, defining the future goal, understanding
the gap between current and future state, implementing the optimal plan and
monitor the progress.

plan requires a well structured plan to allocate all resources optimally to
improve the business outcomes.

9 step approach can be followed to implement  a strategic plan.

1.      Study the environment: In
this step, the current environment within and outside the organization is
studied. Both internal and external customers are involved in the study. Their needs
and priorities are discovered.

the relationship with customer: Company’s
commitment to customer is showcased in this step. Company describes its
relationship with the customer. Customers come to know how valued they are to
the company. This creates goodwill between company and customers. We need to
determine the issues important for customers.

3.      Define new or review quality
statements: After consolidating relationship customers,
organization defines or reviews the vision, mission and quality policy
statements, revised or new statements must meet the aspirations of the customers.
While defining new quality statements, a shared view of the entire organization
must be considered. A SWOT analysis will help understand the gap. It will lay a
foundation for better plans for the future

the gap: After defining or revision of quality
statements, they need to be compared with earlier statements. This will help to understand the underlying gap with
old system. The gap could be in market share, financial benefits, stakeholder
relations or even processes. A gap needs to be plugged to move to the new

on priorities:  In this step, all possible requirements are discussed.
They need to be prioritized using Pareto chart. Prioritizing requirements will
help to solve critical issues which normally make 80% of the whole. A plan
based on priority must be prepared to achieve the new state.

implementation team: A cross functional team
comprising of members from all departments is formed. This team is responsible
for preparation and implementation of the planned course of action. They need to
specify the resources in optimum quantity for smooth transition from old state
to new state.

the plan: The plan as decided by the team is
implemented. All stakeholders are involved during the implementation process. The
plan is communicated throughout the organization before being rolled out. Everyone
must be made aware of the plan. Resources must be allocated for smooth
implementation of the plan.

8.      Monitor the progress: After implementing the plan, it has to be
monitored regularly. In the early stage daily monitoring is required. Later,
the period may be extended. Anyway,
it has to be reviewed and updated to meet the new requirements of the
stakeholders. Any obstacles must be removed. Mistakes should be rectified,
plans may be tweaked and progress should be made towards achieving the goals.

Hold everyone responsible: Though the cross functional
team is responsible for implementation of the plan, everyone in the
organization at all levels are accountable for the success or failure of the new
plan. Everyone must do their part of the work. They should align their interests
with the interest of the organization.