Well, if you can squeeze
in a few resolutions, consider thinking
quality. What can you do to improve the
quality of your organization's services and
products? You don't need grandiose
master plans at this point, but consider
some ideas about the wee things that you can
do in the upcoming year.
Find the lowest paid
person in your organization and ask them
what they think customers want from your
Profusely thank the
employee in #1 for the information.
Spend a half-day
every quarter answering the phones.
Call a client every
month and ask them questions about how
they see your service.
Put quality issues as
the first item on all meeting agendas
(you do have agendas, don't you?)
After the quality
discussion at meetings, get up and leave
the meeting, and ask the other attendees
to continue with the other issues.
Read a book by or
about Crosby, Juran, or Deming.
Actually finish a
book about or by Deming.
Everyday, ask an
employee "Why do we do it this way?"
Every week ask your
boss "Why do we do it that way?"
Go to your office,
shut the door, and identify something
your organization does that is patently
dumb, has never made sense, and has
Ask your employees to
suggest solutions to what you identified
Once you have all the
suggestions, ask someone to actually fix
the damn thing.
Ask each employee to
contact a customer a week to find out
what they need from your organization.
Establish a way of
making use...really making use of the
information collected in #14.
Call a colleague who
is introducing TQM in his/her workplace,
and arrange to have lunch.
Find out about the
American Society for Quality Control (ASQC),
and go to one of their meetings.
Ask employees how you
can personally support them in
delivering quality service. Keep your
ears open and your mouth shut.
If you are a manager
or executive, try thinking like a
regular person or employee.
If you are a regular
person or employee, try thinking like an
Imagine what it would
be like if your organization ran
perfectly. Write the description down.
If you spend most of
your time in your office, or meeting
with other managers, set aside regular
time to talk to employees or clients as
they come in the door.
If you spend most of
your time out of your office rushing
around, then go to your office, shut the
door for half an hour, and think.
Calculate what it
costs your organization when screw-ups
Figure out how much
of your time is spent dealing with
things that go wrong.
Spend your time
focusing on things you can change, and
not on things that you can't.
Encourage your staff
to focus on things under their control.
Never assume that
things are beyond your control until you
have checked it out (alright, you
probably can't turn the economy around
all by yourself).
Commend an employee
for doing his or her job. Don't wait for
a dramatic accomplishment.
Read a book about
management. Any book on management will
Write a little
description of how you are improving
quality in your organization, and send
it to The Work-Smart Bulletin. Better
yet, ask an employee if he or she is
Find out how quality
improvement teams work (and fail), and
how you can help them work.