EB118 - "Little Mistakes" That Cause Big Problems © Question:
Our company has a record of financial success but "little mistakes" by our senior managers have caused us to struggle trying to compete with newer companies.  How can QM help us?

Larry:   Experienced process managers know that "little mistakes" can cause big problems with serious financial losses.  I have seen this truth repeatedly confirmed as people failed to understand the importance of vocational certainty and the effect that their leadership errors could be having on their staff and customers.  This scenario is most prevalent in industries that have enjoyed unusual financial success and the demand for their product or service remains strong.

The biggest “little mistake” a company can make is losing its perspective on executive accountability.  Companies whose profits are absorbed by excessive salaries, bonuses, unusually high dividend rates or lavish corporate life styles have often taken their financial success for granted while failing to upgrade and replace their organizational infrastructure.

Seduced by the success of their financial reports, some managers and board members have failed to hold their colleagues reasonably accountable for their stockholders.   Most often these same companies spend their time counting the number of paying customers coming through the front door and how much money they are making instead of how their leadership choices affect their staff, productivity and profits.  It can create a smug bureaucratic attitude which resists listening to reason or honestly measuring performance.

Being seduced by success can cause people to excuse errors instead of correcting them.   Even as the numbers decline, managers can be so deceived by their past success that they continue blindly on until they lose their momentum and run out of money.  Worse yet, it can lead to the deliberate manipulation of facts and figures.  But eventually the price of non-conformance will prevail.

In a QM environment these problems are naturally corrected.  From the steps taken in defining our calling and vision to the actions that bring them to fulfillment, there are simple values and strategies that determine the outcomes of our work.  Each time we establish a reliable value or strategy, the certainty of our success is increased along with the stability of our leadership and the reliability of our products and services.