“Continual improvement” is a systematic, incremental, and ongoing effort to increase efficiency and effectiveness, often of a process. Continual improvement is an important aspect of ISO 9001 because it is important — always has been — to the success of any business. What organization can survive, let alone prosper, that doesn’t devote at least some of its energy and resources to ongoing improvement? As soon as any organization begins accepting the status quo, how long before others catch up to and pass it?
There are numerous tools organizations can — and should — utilize to ensure continual improvement. Lean, Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma, the Deming Cycle…all these and more can help your organization move in the right direction and at the right pace for you.
However, none of these tools is effective without the belief, conviction, and support of top management. If continual improvement and quality are not deeply ingrained in the organization’s mindset — if they are not part of the company culture — all your effort and resources are wasted. Unfortunately, you can’t make people want to change the status quo. They have to want to change.
Fortunately for me, I have seen — I have worked with — organizations that had that mindset. Soon, I hope to share one or two of their stories with you. Keep in touch.
And, thanks for your time this time. Until next time…