“With the introduction around 1990, quality assurance was more fashion and must than that it was based on an intrinsic desire for improvement.” Without ISO 9001 you simply did not get any assignments anymore, so the certificate suddenly became of strategic importance. “Quality manuals were getting fatter, everything became extensively entrusted to the paper, all to keep the certifier happy, while employees increasingly experienced it as a bone on the leg Result: Quality management became a paper tiger, so it had to be better. Read the TOPic below.
Culture & behavioral programs: fashion or stay?
In the introduction around 1990, quality care was more fashion and must than that it was based on an intrinsic desire for improvement. Without ISO 9001 you simply did not receive any more assignments. So the certificate was suddenly of strategic importance. Quality manuals were getting fatter, everything was entrusted to the paper extensively. Everything to keep the certifier happy, while employees increasingly experienced it as a block on the leg. Result: Quality management became a paper tiger. That had to be better. How? By selling ‘thinner manuals’? Or by squeezing everything in ‘flowcharts’? Did they perform better? Fill in yourself. There was also a group that did it differently; the minority: companies that went for actual performance improvements. But you did not hear that about ‘ISO 9001’. No, they talked about a ‘win-win situation with their suppliers’. About ‘reduction of stocks’. About ‘detecting their bottlenecks’. Result: Real and lasting improvements in business results.
About ten years later, it was no different with environmental care. At the end of the nineties I guided a group of companies from Gelderland with the implementation of ISO 14001. In return, the Provincial States would give more freedom in the Environmental Management Act. The majority went to work energetically and were positive about ‘environmental care’. Until the Province took a different political path and the promise was withdrawn. In no less than a month, all good intentions were with the majority in the lower drawer. Again there were exceptions where nothing disappeared in the drawer: the minority. You did not hear about ‘ISO 14001’, but about ‘significantly reducing the waste flows’, about the ‘optimal use of by-products’, about ‘optimizing energy management’. Result: real and lasting improvements in business results.
And now it comes. You may forget everything you have ever heard or read about me, but you must remember this: Do not go along with that ‘culture & behavioral change’ hype! Do not start with it! Certainly not because your competitor does it too. Not even because your customer asks for it. You will then hear the ‘majority’! And I have told you how it usually ends with the majority.
Scrape yourself with the future minority and realize lasting and real improvement in business results. Give lasting value to your ‘culture or behavior program’. Realize that people get to know and understand each other: go for broad support and involvement. Achieve project goals through improved leadership and ownership. Reduce accidents and failure costs because your people work more effectively and safer and know and accept their own responsibility. Go for sustainable results. You will not regret it.