Robert Nix’s default image

By: Robert Nix

My first experience with the word “culture” comes from my high school science class. We grew a living organism on a nutrient base, which the teacher called a culture.

Philip Crosby Associates’s default image

By: Philip Crosby Associates

Ask employees at any financial institution to pick two words to describe a typical core system conversion, and "major headache" is likely the nicest description you’ll hear. Ask that question at $1 billion South Carolina Federal Credit Union, North Charleston, South Carolina, and prepare to hand over a quarter. The "C word" was retired from acceptable office language in the aftermath of a stressful 1996 conversion project, and just uttering it within that credit union’s halls will earn you a 25-cent fine.

Why such visceral reactions?

Jeffrey A. Miller’s default image

By: Jeffrey A. Miller

Elevated systemic anxiety can have severe effects, and most organizations are at risk. The good news is that it takes only one person to break the cycle and turn the company around.

If you’re a leader, you feel it in your gut: Stress is at an all-time high, and no wonder. The uncertain economy keeps even those who work for successful companies slightly off-balance.

Ron Kirscht’s default image

By: Ron Kirscht

Donnelly Custom Manufacturing of Alexandria, Minnesota, a short-run injection molding company, knows that proper training is vital to productivity and quality. Still, training at Donnelly was taking longer than desired and employees often weren’t retaining enough of what had been learned with traditional methods. Donnelly was committed to continuous improvement, and the company needed more advanced training practices to help employees more fully understand their jobs, improve quality, and eliminate any turnover associated with job confusion.

David F. Giannetto’s default image

By: David F. Giannetto

Who does your company exist to please? In your daily business operations, who ultimately determines whether you and your people get paychecks or pink slips? Who do the mission and vision statements place at the center of your employees’ universe? If your answer to all three questions is the customer, you’re not alone. Most leaders wake up each morning hoping to live up to their company’s promise to maximize customer value and deliver the best possible customer experience.

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

Tune into “The Apprentice” television show, and you get an all-too-common view of business. Every week, all of the wannabe moguls try to impress Donald Trump by preening, cajoling, and conniving. In this world, toughness is the measure of every CEO, and the boss glories in firing people and squeezing every penny out of suppliers.

Yet, according to Wharton marketing professors John Zhang and Jagmohan Raju, and Tony Haitao Cui, a University of Minnesota marketing and logistics professor, many people aren’t purely mercenary in their business dealings.

Peter Sanderson’s picture

By: Peter Sanderson

Walls—structures, usually solid, that define and sometimes protect an area—have been built since the beginning of time. The Aurelian Walls were built between 270 and 273 in Rome during the reign of the Roman Emperor Aurelian. The 12.5-mile-long wall was intended to defend the city from barbarian attacks.

Joseph OBrien’s default image

By: Joseph OBrien

A few months ago, I received training on ISO 9001 process auditing. It was very thorough and put on by a very enthusiastic man. I was really enjoying the training, and I planned to take my newfound knowledge and begin to process audit my division.

One of the last things the trainer said to me before we finished for the day was, “Remember, as a quality person, you are only to point out nonconformances and areas for improvement.

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