This week, we continued our mini-series breaking down the ISO 9001 Standard. Our first week, we simply discussed what ISO 9001 is and how it compares to 14001 and 45001. This week, we started to get into the standard a little bit. We addressed top-down management, culture, who should be in charge. This We addressed top-down management, culture, who should be in charges went a little differently than I thought. I say a lot that it frustrates me that it seems that management usually hands achieving certification off to someone they think would be good as the “quality manager,” but doesn’t actually have that title or any authority. What I learned is…that’s ok. This newly dubbed quality manager can be anyone that is eager to learn and passionate about the standard. The quality manager should be a people person, first and foremost. I feel like achieving ISO 9001 certification within you company is more about culture than anything. Companies are already following specific procedures, all we’re doing now is making sure everyone knows what to do and when to do it.
So, our new quality manager needs to be a people person. He or she needs to be able to present a manual to the shop people and say, “What would you do better or differently?” The shop people need to believe that their input really matters. The new quality manager needs to have a respectful relationship with top managements so that he/she can bring suggestions to them for approval and get them on board with following the manual.
I have to go back to teaching-it’s what I know. As a teacher, I firmly believed that kids had to know that I valued, respected and cared about them first. Then, I could teach them. Kids are tiny adults. Adults want to know that others value, respect and care about their opinions. Then, they will get on board with your program.
I feel it should go without saying, but I’m gonna say it. You can’t be disingenuous. Do not ask for opinion just to check a box. That is one last characteristic of our new quality manager. He/she must be on the lookout for continual improvement and that comes from all interested parties. People aren’t check boxes, they matter and they need to know they matter.