On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his iconic “ I have a Dream Speech.” Like Dr. King I too have a dream or more correctly a vision. While I am not referring to my four-year-old son as Dr. King did, I am referring to our global workplace. Let me paraphrase Dr. King’s speech and relate my vision or dream to you the reader.
I have a goal in my professional life to deliver a message. It is a message that will transform our business world to greater heights. Today this installment will lay out this vision for you the reader.
If we go back to the time of the emancipation proclamation, we were deeply involved in the agricultural age. This was a period when the family ran the farm and each individual had an integral part in the success of the farm. As we moved to the industrial age we lost that human capital asset focus.
In a sense we have come to this point in our business development to cash a check. Starting with the Quaker business model business laid out a promise to the organization that we as management would take care of our most value tool in our arsenal to compete in the global marketplace- our human capital assets that are now non-owned leased corporate assets. This promise stated that all programs initiated by the organization would be centered on a guarantee of being a valued part of the organization. As we look at many organizations today it increasingly obvious that American business has defaulted on this promise. The focus moved from considering the human capital asset as such to being an expense item that affected the corporate bottom line.
But we refuse to believe that the promise is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there is no room for the organizations to change in the global workplace. So we are writing this post to show the way to reclaim that promise. It would be fatal for business to ignore this message. This means, as Dr. Deming suggested, we need to move to a new philosophy in which management learns their responsibilities and take on leadership for change.
This change establishes some clear indicators of success.
- First, we need to rid the organization of the words “ It is not my job.” The move to a quality focus is based in the practice of spreading quality throughout the organization so that it becomes everyone’s job.
- Second, we must allow the rank and file the authority to make changes to the process if what they see is causing the organization to not meet the needs of the customer.
- Third, we must recognize the worth of everyone involved in the organizational processes.
This journey of change is not one we can walk alone. And as we embark on this journey we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. It means we must remove from organizational vernacular the objections from moving forward. It means that it must be all hands on deck in this new philosophy. It must become the corporate mantra that quality is the primary focus of the way we do business. Everyone must learn the keys to reaching that goal and then spreading the message to the organization and our customers. The organization must realize that we cannot turn back once we begin this journey.
I am not unmindful that some of you have read this blog post with great trials and tribulations. You have come from a world that is embedded in a tradition, which says that is not the way we do things here. Some of you have been confronted by organization very much averse to doing things differently. You have been the victims of command and control organizational structures. Know and understand it has to change.
I have a dream that one day our businesses will understand what quality means and practice it everyday.
I have a dream that one day our organizations will understand that the quick buck is not the solution to organizational sustainability.
I have a dream that one day our entire organizations will learn the language of business and understand that the process metrics are there to make us better not hold us back.
I have a dream that one-day management and our human capital assets will all be on the same page as far as producing the products and services we are known for without error.
This is our hope and this is the faith that I go forward with that there are better days coming. Days rooted in doing things right the first and every time. Rooted in believing that we all have a responsibility to meet the voice of the customer in every interaction we have with them.
Join me on this exciting and dynamic journey. Join me in this effort to vastly improve the focus of our organizations with in the global workplace. Together we can create a different business world in which we are all on the same page.