Friday, November 21, 2003

a rose by any other name is still a rose

Received from Dorothy W:

I read a couple of your later entries on your blog regarding the decline in QPC references and the Leadership initiative message from the Area Commander. Although I am new to the organization and the position, I am very familiar with the "quality movement." As a "newbie" with the Coast Guard, here are my thoughts on this:

One of the key outcomes for QPCs, as I see it, is to make the application of "best methods" a part of everyday management in the Coast Guard. I do not necessarily see that as a continuous use of the terms and program we are a part of. As more and more units use the criteria as a tool and apply the core principles of the criteria, the "program" becomes less important. Whether it is called ethical leadership, caring management, passionate and compassionate commanders, assessments of readiness, teamwork, listening to your people, taking care of "the little things," thinking in terms of the "what if type scenario," or "individual and team effectiveness," each application of these principles is an application of quality criteria in another dress. I do not see a decline in the need for QPCs, but an increase in demand for teaching and providing the techniques to make this happen. This is a good thing.

Because "Quality" is an '80's word and TQM miss-application has left some people with a negative impression of the word, I am not overly concerned about the lack of inclusion of these terms in any message dealing with Leadership. I certainly don't want to see us slip back into using "management" as our goal, but if that term can grow to encompass true Leadership and quality management, then we will have succeeded in our mission. After all, "a rose by any other name is still a rose."

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