Quality Culture Dr. Syed M. Ahmed, Ph.D. Course Instructor:

Quality Culture
Course Instructor:
Dr. Syed M. Ahmed, Ph.D.
College of Engineering & Computing
Florida International University, Miami, Florida
Major Topics
Understanding What a Quality Culture Is
Quality Culture vs. Traditional Cultures
Activating Cultural Change
Changing Leaders to activate Cultural Change
Laying the Groundwork for a Quality Culture
Learning What a Quality Culture looks like
Countering Resistance to Culture Change
Establishing a Quality Culture
Maintaining a Quality Culture
Understanding What a Quality Culture Is
To understand a Quality Culture, one must first understand
a Organizational Culture.
An organizational culture has the following elements:
Business Improvement
Organizational Values
Cultural Role Models
Organizational Rites, Rituals and Customs
Cultural Transmitters
A quality culture is:
An organizational value system that results in an environment
that is conducive to the establishment and continual
improvement of Quality.
Quality Culture vs. Traditional Cultures
Organizations that develop and maintain a quality culture
will differ significantly from those with a traditional
culture in the following areas:
Operating Philosophy
Management Approach
Attitude towards Customers
Problem-Solving Approach
Supplier Relationship
Performance-Improvement Approach
Activating Cultural Change
To attempt the implementation of total quality without
creating a quality culture is to invite failure.
Several primary reasons cultural change must either precede
or at least parallel the implementation of total quality are:
Change can not occur in a hostile environment
Moving to Total Quality takes time
Total Quality approach might be radically different from what the
management is accustomed to.
In a conversion to Total Quality, positive results are rarely achieved
in the short run.
It can be difficult to overcome the past
Employees might remember earlier fads and gimmicks and
characterize total quality as being just the latest one.
Changing Leaders to
Activate Cultural Change
Cultural change is one of the most difficult
challenges an organization will ever face.
Leadership from the top is essential.
Sometimes, an organization’s culture simply cannot
be changed without a change in leadership.
Senior Executives who fail to comprehend the need to
change, who fail to create a sense of urgency when
needed and who fail to follow through the changes
they initiated are poor candidates to lead an
organization through a major culture change.
Culture change requires support, ideas, and
leadership from employees at all levels.
Laying the Groundwork for a Quality
Establishing a Quality Culture is lot like
constructing a building.
According to Peter Scholtes,
Management should begin by developing an
understanding of “laws” of organizational change.
They are:
Understand the History behind the Current Culture
Don’t Tamper with Systems – Improve Them
Be prepared to Listen and Observe
Involve Everyone Affected by Change in Making It
Learning What a Quality Culture looks
Part of laying the groundwork for a
quality culture is understanding what one
looks like.
Any Executive team that hope to change
the culture of its organization should:
Know the laws of organizational change
Understand the characteristics of
organizations that have strong quality
Countering Resistance to
Culture Change - 1
Change is Resisted in any Organization.
Continuous Improvement means Continuous Change.
Why Change is Difficult?
Juran describes organizational change as
“Clash between Cultures”
Fig 1. Two separate organizational Cultures
relating to change
Countering Resistance to
Culture Change - 2
There are different perceptions to the same proposed change in
an organization.
Fig 2. Different Perceptions of Same change
Countering Resistance to
Culture Change - 3
How to Facilitate Change?
The responsibility to facilitate change
necessarily falls to its advocates.
Begin with a new advocacy Paradigm
Understand Concerns of Potential Resisters
The first step is to adopt a facilitating
Understand the concerns of resisters like fear,
loss of control, uncertainty and more work.
Implement Change Promoting Strategies
Involve Potential Resisters, Avoid Surprises,
Move slowly at first, Start Small and be flexible,
create a positive environment, Incorporate the
change, Respond Quickly and Positively, Work
with Established leaders, Treat people with
dignity & Respect, Be Constructive.
Fig 3. Steps in
Facilitating Change
Establishing a Quality Culture - 1
Establishing a quality culture involves specific planning
and activities for business or department.
Phases of Emotional Transition:
Fig 4.
Emotional Transition
Establishing a Quality Culture - 2
Steps in Conversion to Quality:
Identify the Changes needed
Put the Planned Changes in Writing
Develop a Plan for Making the
Understand the Emotional Transition
Identify Key People and Make Them
Take a Hearts and Minds Approach
Apply Courtship Strategies
Maintaining a Quality Culture
Establishing Quality Culture is a challenging undertaking
for any organization. It is even more challenging to
maintain it over time.
In order to maintain Quality Culture, organizations must
foster the following behaviors:
Maintain an awareness of Quality as a key cultural issue.
Make sure that there is plenty of evidence of Management’s
Empower Employees and encourage self-development and selfinitiative.
Recognize and reward the behaviors that tend to nurture and
maintain Quality Culture.