Quality Progress - March 2018 - 20

F E AT U R E

QUALITY CULTURE
In a successful quality cultural transformation, a turning
point is when quality improves, and performance goes
from negative to positive. Recall, for example, the auto
industry and its quality turnaround from the defectplagued products of the 1970s. As automobiles and their
manufacturing processes became more complex in the
1960s and 1970s, the number of defects in U.S. cars grew,
and so did customer dissatisfaction.
On June 24, 1980, the now well-known NBC broadcast "If Japan Can... Why Can't We?" aired as part of
the network's white papers series featuring W. Edwards
Deming. The documentary highlighted Japanese manufacturing processes and addressed the widening quality gap
between Japanese and U.S. products.
With the importance of quality recognized (and industry
survival threatened), U.S. automakers changed their attitude and processes to turn around quality. In the summer
of 1981, for example, Ford released its advertising campaign "Quality Is Job 1."1

FIGURE 1

Inflection points and
turning points
Turning
point
Turning
point

What is transformation?

According to the book How to Coach Individuals, Teams,
and Organizations to Master Transformational Change:
Surfing Tsunamis, "Transformation is the marked change in
the nature or function of organizational systems creating
discontinuous, step-function improvement in sought-after
results areas."2
The transformation process entails an inflection point
where the new system begins to move toward an inverse
U-shaped curve, indicating future results will produce the
turning point.
Transformation can occur in a society, organization,
team or individual system. The definition of transformation
speaks to a shift in results-a break with the past. Additionally, the definition is cast in a proactive manner, looking for
transformation leaders to accomplish change in sought-after areas.
Certainly, unwanted transformations take place. That's
why leaders are appointed and responsible for stepping
in to create new systems that will deliver the desired performance results. It is up to leadership to make a quality
cultural transformation successful.
Evidence of transformation is found in the turning point
of performance results. A turning point signifies transformation is taking place and the ongoing change in results
will give testimony to the formation of a new system. It is
when quality results turn the corner and begin to show
consistent positive results that a transformation has
occurred.

Cultural transformation

Inflection
points

Turning
point

20 QP

After the automotive industry shifted its focus to
quality, an inflection point occurred when the rate of poor
quality began to lessen. But it wasn't until the number
of defects per vehicle began to decrease that a turning
point was reached.

March 2018 ❘ qualityprogress.com

Inflection points are hard to see in an organizational
transformation. The initial work required to create a
breakthrough cultural shift may seem to be in vain. The
foundational elements of a true cultural transformation can
be found in the shift of peoples' mindsets and changing
belief systems.
The inflection point of a quality cultural transformation
occurs when people begin to see quality in a different
way-as a vital strategy to improve safety, production,
profitability and sustainability. Evidence of this inflection
point and feeble initial attempts to improve quality can be
hard to come by, however. It's the beginning of an inverse
curve that, if pursued, will lead to a turning point.
The beginning of change can get lost in an organization's


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - March 2018

Seen and Heard
Expert Answers
Progress Report
Mr. Pareto Head
Career Coach
My Quality Story
In the Right Direction
A Different Kind of BBQ
Gaining Ground
Impeding Progress
Innovation Imperative
Statistics Spotlight
Standard Issues
Marketplace
Footnotes
Back to Basics
Quality Progress - March 2018 - INTRO
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover1
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover2
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 1
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 2
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 3
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 4
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 5
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Seen and Heard
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 7
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Expert Answers
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 9
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Progress Report
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 11
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 12
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Mr. Pareto Head
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Career Coach
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 15
Quality Progress - March 2018 - My Quality Story
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 17
Quality Progress - March 2018 - In the Right Direction
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 19
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 20
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 21
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 22
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 23
Quality Progress - March 2018 - A Different Kind of BBQ
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 25
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 26
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 27
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 28
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 29
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 30
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 31
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Gaining Ground
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 33
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 34
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 35
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 36
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Impeding Progress
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 38
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 39
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 40
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 41
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 42
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 43
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Innovation Imperative
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 45
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 46
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 47
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Statistics Spotlight
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 49
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 50
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 51
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 52
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 53
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Standard Issues
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 55
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 56
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 57
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Marketplace
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 59
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Footnotes
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 61
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 62
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 63
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Back to Basics
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover3
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover4
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