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Leaders establish unity of purpose and direction of the organization. They should create and maintain the internal environment in which people can become fully involved in achieving the organization's objectives.

Top management of an organization, whether the president, CEO, general manager, or owner, needs to establish unity of purpose and direction for the organization, so that all interested parties, including customers, owners, employees, contractors, suppliers, and financial people, can become fully involved in achieving the organization's mission for its future.

Management needs to be purposeful and results-oriented for quality and continual improvement; therefore, change management is a key part of leadership.

Leaders influence and motivate others. Top managers have made a commitment to implement a quality management system following international standards and their own requirements, as well as to meet statutory and regulatory requirements.

When making this commitment, top management needs to ensure availability of resources and training, ensuring that responsibilities, accountability, and competencies are defined and communicated. Managers need to lead by example, inspiring and encouraging others and recognizing employee contributions.

The board of directors needs to be aware of the operational risks tied not only with quality but also with environment, health, and safety. It is important that the board approves the management system framework and be kept informed of identified risks and how they are controlled, monitored, and measured. This helps the board know about risk areas and what can impact performance and profits. Shareholders want to invest in companies that grow and manage their risks by putting in controls for success.

Managers conduct management reviews to understand the status of the management system and provide ongoing direction for the continual improvement of the effectiveness of its management system. Records outlining inputs and outputs of the management reviews provide the support for due diligence.

Two reasons we make mistakes in life are 1) lack of information and 2) inexperience. Asking questions helps us to be proactive and to gather the information to make better decisions and take better directions.


Focus: Quality – Customer

1 What is the purpose of your company being in business?

a. What is the vision for the company for the next three to five years?

b. What are you contributing to customers, to society?

c. What is unique about your company? What makes you different from your competitor? Does your branding reflect this?

2 How do you want to be remembered as a manager or leader of your organization? What values (principles) do you have for the company?

3 What can or will impact the success of your business?

4 What tools does your company have in place to translate the skills of leadership effectiveness and outcomes into metrics?

a. Internal: Company performance – KPI (key performance indicators) – financial

b. External: Business awards

5 Interested parties for unity of purpose: Customers, employees, suppliers, contractors, shareholders, community, etc.

a. What and how does the organization communicate as a clear vision to these people related to its management system's vision, policy, and strategic planning objectives?

b. How do vision, policy, and objectives impact interested parties?

c. How can you best serve your shareholders and your customers?

d. How can you engage your employees, contractors, and suppliers?

e. What input do interested parties have in the company's direction? What innovative changes have been made?

f. How is recognition given to interested parties for their contributions and encouragement given for continual improvement?

How do you as a manager communicate to employees the importance of meeting and continually improving customer satisfaction? Are you as a manager listening?

a. Does your organization have customer focus groups?

b. Employee-customer feedback sessions?

7 How does your organization communicate to employees the importance of meeting corporate and legal requirements?

8 Planning

a. What three objectives do you have in place for quality?

b. What is the status of them? Do you as an owner, general manager, or president attend management meetings to check the status? (Is your attendance at any of these meeting unannounced?)

c. How are ongoing objectives or projects tracked at your organization?

9 How does the organization capture internal change management?

10 Recognition

a. When employees exceed goals, how are they recognized?

b. Do you recognize customer service? How – awards, congratulations?

11 Do management reviews show that the quality management system is effective and improving?

12 Are you accessible to employees and other managers? Are you engaged with your employees?

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