in Leadership, Leading People, Leading Projects, Process Improvement, Quality Improvement

Leadership Mindset in Supporting Improvements

At the core of leadership is ability to support improvements. One of the biggest change when an organization embarks upon a process improvement journey is the change in mindset. While the objectives change,  business leaders tend to cling on to traditional management styles of ‘command and control’.

With ‘command and control’, managers will control everything and people will simply comply. Improvement may still happen, but long term sustainable culture change may not!

Total Quality Management is all about empowering people to participate in the change. It calls for patience, extending help, ask/listen and communicate at all levels. Leaders have to realize that they cannot change people’s behavior unless they change theirs. If they believe in command and control style, the second line leaders will never be able to practice ‘initiative-led’ management style. You see, behaviors from the top trickle down through the organization and at some point, becomes the culture.

Unlike factories, the dividing line between ‘people who think’ and ‘people who do’ has blurred. When dealing with improvement, everyone is equally strong and has equal potential to bring about a change. With empowerment, leaders just ‘unlock’ that potential. That, to me, is the basic of modern day leadership. To empower people, enable them, believe that they are powerful, support them and truly ‘unlock’ their potential.

Working on organizational process improvement is a great way to practice these fundamentals of leadership and deliver “value” to business, people therein and the customers.

So key questions as you end this week:

  • What are you improving upon at workplace?
  • Who are you supporting, enabling and empowering?

Bonus:

QAspire Blog was selected as one of the Top 50 Career Resources under “Leadership” category by eCollegeFinder. Recognitions like these not only encourage but also raise the bar. I am both proud and happy.

You must also read: Kurt Harden’s life lessons at Cultural Offering Blog and simply brilliant Nicholas Bate’s Pocket Calculator for Kickstarting Change.

  1. Hi Tanmay, I 200% agree with your thoughts on Leadership and Improvements. Very useful for the change process.

  2. Aptly said. Unless we allow people to think, analyse and to be innovative, the result achieved will not change. Everyone has their potential to contribute in making the whole process better, and its leaders job to decipher the inputs and make the improvements required. Improvement is not a journey to be taken alone when your working in a group.

    • Hi Anand,

      Job of a leader is to adopt strategies to help people get in ‘thinking’ mode. When they lead in ‘command and control’ style – people are not allowed to think. People only contribute when they are empowered to think and act. As you rightly said, improvement is a journey that shouldn’t be taken alone.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Best,
      Tanmay

  3. From Management / Leaders side: Adaptability to changes, Attitude to change, Calculated Trust on team for their initiatives are keys to ignite and sustain such Organizational improvements/changes. Failing to carry each of these keys in parallel, can drive the improvement results other way around. Finally concluding, to achieve this objective, “Change in mindset” is very neccessary – as rightly spotted by my dear Dr.QA 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment Jay – adaptability, attitude and trust are keys, I totally agree.
      Thanks for also conferring the title of “Dr. QA” – most ideas on this blog are nothing more than common sense, but I don’t mind it at all if you wish to call me Dr. QA 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Tanmay

    • Thanks for the comment – Renata.

      I very much concur with Vineet’s views on people and admire his “People First” approach. In my experience, even when intentions of top management are right, the strategy execution by the middle management does not align with those intentions – and hence the need to align the middle management to the values from top.

      Focus on people, and your customers will be well taken care of!

      Best,
      Tanmay

  4. hi Tanmay – Such a short article but full of enthusiasm and value in it. I fully agreed with you as a leadership role in supporting any improvement initiatives. With better understanding of the leadership role, one can lead his team to get better results.

    • @LM TQM – Thanks for those kind words and affirmation. Improvements accelerate when they have total commitment from the top management. Infact, without leadership commitment, no improvement is possible.

      Best,
      Tanmay

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