Quality Progress - March 2018 - 21

day-to-day work. When an organization pursues a culture of innovation that
demands creativity, for example, the flow of new ideas must flip the "ideas-comefrom-the-top" curve.
Declaring the need for more innovation may signal a burning platform of
non-competitiveness. This is just a step toward understanding that the current
path is unsustainable. Innovation initiatives, such as improvement programs,
training and enhancing employee involvement, may open the door for a
change of mindset, but the results of a cultural change will not be immediately
forthcoming.
An example of a positive cultural shift is the Keep America Beautiful movement.3 Started in 1953 by the National Advisory Council, the organization was
created to reduce and prevent pollution, and still thrives today.
When First Lady Lady Bird Johnson began promoting the idea that the litter
along roadsides, polluted streams and dirty inner cities didn't have to be the
norm, Americans started to listen. But an inflection point was achieved when
the Ad Council started the Crying Indian campaign in 1970.
Thought by many to be the most effective public service announcement ever
released, the TV spot showed actor "Iron Eyes" Cody canoeing a polluted river
and overlooking a trashed landscape. His face clearly captured his sadness at
the state of pollution in America.
Coupled with the first Earth Day celebration, American consciousness began
to shift away from an abuse and neglect mindset toward a stewardship mindset.
Like all inflection points, results weren't seen overnight. State and federal
money, regulations and penalties accelerated the movement from an increasingly dirty environment to one of restoration. The turning point came when the
rivers started to be restored, environmental waste sites cleaned, and habits of
illegal dumping and discharging trash from autos were altered.
Whether it is a positive or negative cultural transformation, inflection points
play a pivotal role. When creating a quality culture, having an appreciation for
inflection points is instrumental in effective leadership. It is where leadership
steps in and reinforces the mindset shifts taking place and pushes through to
actual results.
If leadership is opposing an unwanted cultural transformation, such as the
move to a poor quality culture, the inflection point is a warning sign that action
must be taken to maintain the existing positive quality culture.

If leadership is opposing an
unwanted cultural transformation, such as the move to
a poor quality culture, the
inflection point is a warning
sign that action must be
taken to maintain the existing positive quality culture.

Transformation implications

When embarking on a quality cultural transformation, the first steps often
don't appear in bottom-line results. The inertia of a poor-quality culture can be
underestimated. Look for and celebrate the small wins-the shift in mindsets
and outlining actions that support the change. But be cautious about calling
these wins the turning point. An ongoing change in the system and overall positive results are needed before this claim can be made.
Be cautious of transformational stories from other organizations. In hindsight,
they can appear straightforward and linear. The tale is often laid out in logical,
bullet-point steps taken to achieve success, but the path to transformation is
rarely uncomplicated and clear-cut. The asserted cause and effect relationships
are usually overrepresented.
Inflection points are difficult to detect, but should be sought because they
can be a source of hope for things to come. In the innovation cultural change
mentioned earlier, an inflection point may be seen in a trickle of ideas, followed

qualityprogress.com ❘ March 2018

QP 21


http://www.qualityprogress.com

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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