Saturday, February 7, 2015

Who influenced and Inspired me on Quality?

Bill's blog post of this month is on the topic "Finding Inspiration From Quality Leaders".    It was a great learning experience for me reading about these two leaders, Secretary O'Neill and Governor Cuomo,  who preached and practiced quality - truly inspiring personalities.

Bill highlights 3 key points that Secretary O'Neill implemented during his tenure as a CEO at Alcoa - i) Making safety on the job as his and organization's top priority, ii) to treat everybody with dignity and respect, and, iii) be the best in the world at everything you do.  I now understand the secret of success of great leaders - they simply practice and preach strong quality fundamentals.  Per Bill, Governor Cuomo transformed the New York State Local Motor Vehicle Department to reduce customer wait times and increase efficiency.  Governor Cuomo made it very clear that quality is the recognized and inspired standard for New York State Government operations.

Bill, in his blog post, asks the ASQ Influential Voices Bloggers to write about those quality leaders and their key teachings and contributions.

My teacher and Professor Dr. SM Kannan exposed me to the field of quality.   He is an expert in the field of quality in topics such as - selective assembly, design of experiments, Taguchi techniques, Total Quality Management etc.  I would like to list down some of his key teachings that transformed me from a student to a quality professional:

a) Always aim for long-term results  - I was taught to not get worried about short-term losses and my teacher always mentored me to focus only on long-term results.  Here, he indirectly taught me to focus on "quality assurance" over "quality control" as a success measure.

b) Ensure total quality - When it comes to any task, activity or project, one has to ensure quality at all levels - customer, process, product and culture.  He insisted to always practice Total Quality Management over fragmented approaches.

c) There is no substitute for excellence - Another key teaching was to always demonstrate excellence and there are no substitutes.  Continuous improvement is the key and regular measurement of incremental growth is very important.  He taught me to learn every day and up-skill regularly. Once he said, if you are unable to add a new entry to your Curriculum Vitae (CV), at least once every six months, that means your career is stalling.  The importance of quantitative measurement of results was a key learning for me.

d) Hard work is always rewarded - Last but not the least, he always practiced perseverance and hard work and made me firmly believe that I will be more lucky and successful only when I work hard.

My professor laid a good and solid foundation of quality for me and I believe that his teachings are really valuable to all.

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