Robert Oakland highlights the vital role of the systems thinker in delivering business excellence.
The 21st century holds many challenges for the leaders of private and public-sector organisations.
We live in a turbulent world where organisations need to continually transform if they are to deliver sustained value. The quality profession must play a vital role in enabling this to happen by engaging the whole organisation in striving to meet the customer, organisation and stakeholder requirements.
This is done by:
- Increasing the focus on the end-to-end value chain, forming and working with cross-functional teams that improve the complete demand, supply and cost network
- Influencing the organisational design and structure that will drive the right behaviours and encourage the ‘v
oice of the business’ as well as the ‘voice of the customer’
- Establishing the disciplines of process management and developing a ‘total systems’ approach that integrates all the company’s management systems into one coherent set.
Quality professionals are in a unique position to provide this perspective along the entire end-to-end value chain and act as the ‘conscience of the business’.
However, they require the necessary leadership, influencing, networking and socialising skills to do this effectively.
This is a challenge, as one of the leaders Oakland Consulting recently interviewed commented: ‘Quality people are the needle and thread, stitching the whole end-to-end together. To do this you have to be a good communicator and influencer who can quickly build respect and credibility. Many quality people can talk to people about ISO 9000 or audits etc, but people who can truly work end-to-end are very thin on the ground.’
On 22 June we will be facilitating a Leadership Masterclass on systems thinking in partnership with the Chartered Quality Institute. The ambition of this course is to make a big change in the way the quality professional looks across business functions and hierarchy to promote a broad process and customer-centric view of the organisation.
For further information and booking details about this course or the CQI Leadership Masterclass series, please visit the CQI training page.
Robert Oakland is a partner at Oakland Consulting