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?
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.