He is the perfectionist who wants to continuously improve. He’s theoretical and at the same time is passionate to implement so he can prove or disapprove his theories. He has a whole view of how to improve quality by having people from various teams collaborate away from the boundaries of their groups. He believes that the solution itself is very simple; however, it is hard because it requires inspiring people. He can’t live in functional department and he’s wondering around the whole company looking for new challenge. He is not organizationally political but he’s keen to do the right thing.
I know a story about a cook who resigned without having another offer just because he was told to change the ingredients of his favorite dish. The cook is Mr. Quality and he’s probably right, but not many people ready to understand him.
When influencing organizational change, we probably figured key simple practices which can affect improvement. We choose such practices which have sound foundation and at same time we use our personal judgment on what best for that organization. This judgment is based on understanding the organization, its business line, management, people, culture, perception, politics and others. At the end we judge which solution to implement. Mr. Quality or the cook is very proud of his judgment and could lose interest if he can’t sell his proposal.
For the cook above not to quit, he should have figured a way to change the tasting habits of his guests, or he should have changed his mind. Mr. Quality should work on inspiring the people of the organization so that they accept his judgment and solution. Mr. Quality should be a people magnet for those who have interest in following his ideals. They are the people who would implement the practices and spread the message to others.
Mr. Quality effort can be measured, because the effectiveness of change is measurable in terms of quality metrics (e.g. percentage of effort spent on defects). The improvement in these metrics is determined by the degree of buy-in by the practitioners to what Mr. Quality advocates. To become such magnet for process adopters, Mr. Quality should align his judgments to people’s real issues and ambitions.
The cook though is expert in his dish and applied best judgment, could not relate adequately to his tasters.