Quality is Free – Ask Your People!

I always feel privileged and pleasure in being a judge in an initiative like Quality Circles as it reflects empowerment and a potent alignment of an Organization and its People.

A few days back I had an opportunity to be a judge in the 36th Quality Circles Convention under the auspices of Quality Circle Forum of India (QCFI) at Pune.

While it was a big celebration of the Quality Movement in which more than 1200 participants from various organizations participated and presented their Quality Circle achievements with pride and exaltation, what struck me as the greatest achievement was that successful and progressive organizations have continued their faith in People, Processes, and Participation.

One such brilliant example was that of Tata Motors. The Quality Circle Teams sent by Tata Motors won maximum prizes and raised their victory flag in almost every category. When, after the completion of the awards ceremony, the Team Tata Motors gathered on the stage, the massive stage was overflowing with the employees of Tata Motors.

Mr. Shyam Singh their Plant Head -PV was the Chief Guest in the Inaugural Function and it was his inaugural speech that provided the clues behind this unprecedented achievement.

I broke down his speech into three parts:

  1. During his speech, which incidentally was in Hindi, he was addressing his people and, in the process, encouraging, appreciating, and evoking the winning spirit in them.

2. In his speech he talked about a larger vision about how Industry , Academia and Government can together bring about transformational changes in the country. He also talked about how youth and their power. He talked about a larger goal with a focus on the country rather than talking about “my company” and “my people”. In my experience this larger vision and stretching it beyond the narrow confines of a company is what connects with the people, and they begin to affiliate themselves with the mission.

3. And then the final word was about a formula which he believes in and puts in practice. He calls it DDS; which means Do, Demonstrate and Support! Leaders must first Do it themselves, then Demonstrate it to their people, and then ensure that it happens by Supporting them till they succeed.

I went with the reassuring feeling that Tata Motors’ future is bright, and our investments are safe.

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