Quality in Action: 93 Lessons in Leadership, Participation, and Measurement

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9780471552062: Quality in Action: 93 Lessons in Leadership, Participation, and Measurement

Quality Praise for Quality in Action "An important book—and one that’s just plain fun to read.... This book is a gem!" —from the Foreword by Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence and Thriving on Chaos "Townsend and Gebhardt’s essay on our foremost problem of staying competitive in a world market in which more and more little people are learning how to do it better and better is not only penetrating and revealing; it is also entertaining, which probably fractures both rules and records for this kind of literature." —Howard K. Smith "With power and style, Quality in Action redefines competitive advantage for our march into the next century. The trail is tricky and tortuous—make sure this guidebook is in your knapsack." —Allan Cox, author of Straight Talk for Monday Morning "Quality in Action is not only exhortation, it is a road map. Townsend and Gebhardt have taken much of the fear and mystery out of total quality management." —Ann McLaughlin, former Secretary of Labor and Founder of the Workforce Quality Commission "There is a lot of pompous posturing in the quality biz today. Quality in Action puts a greased skid under much of it. Townsend and Gebhardt’s book will quickly become known as the rational person’s guide to BS-less quality improvement. It’s a must read." —Ron Zemke President, Performance Research Associates Coauthor, Service America and Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service "Quality must become a national issue. Quality in Action enables you not only to see the truth of that statement, but also to feel it. Long after you have forgotten the points (or the titles) of other business books, you will remember and use the lessons contained in this one." —Congressman Don Ritter (Pa.) Subcommittee on Technology and Competitiveness "Quality Champion on Capitol Hill" "Quality in Action is a superb tool for teaching and learning the nuts and bolts of quality management. Townsend and Gebhardt have successfully translated W. Edwards Deming’s ‘profound knowledge’ from theory into practice in a style that is both entertaining and enlightening. Pick up the book and start reading—anywhere,on any page. I dare you to put it down before you’ve read it all at least once; then expect to read and ponder the 93 lessons again and again." —Vice Admiral James A. Zimble, M.D. former Surgeon General, U.S. Navy President, Department of Defense Medical School

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From the Inside Flap :

With their bestselling Commit to Quality, Pat Townsend and Joan Gebhardt revolutionized the concept of quality management. In that groundbreaking work they went beyond the traditional quality circle, originally developed in the manufacturing sector, to offer a blueprint for improving service, profitability, and employee satisfaction at all levels and in every type of industry. And they demonstrated that quality is an ongoing process in which employees at every level, if given a chance, will enthusiastically participate. Now, in their latest book, Quality in Action, the authors take an even more innovative approach to the quality process. While the first book defined the science of quality, this one concentrates on the art. Written in a lively and engaging style that freely mixes case studies with humorous parables and nuts-and-bolts guidance, the authors cut through all the complex jargon and boilerplate formulas that executives all too often take refuge behind. Reading their enlightening anecdotes and clever parables will awaken your senses and emotions—as well as your intellect—to the "atmosphere that surrounds the events, the attitudes that accompany the actions." And like other great storytellers, Townsend and Gebhardt conclude each of their fables with a concise moral or axiom that sums up the basic principle of the story and helps you to put that principle into action. The book’s 93 illuminating and amusing "lessons" are divided into three mini-books corresponding to the key ingredients of a successful quality process: leadership, employee participation, and the measurement of progress. While other books concentrate on only one or another of these elements Quality in Action explains how—and why—all three should be integrated into an overall strategy. Throughout, the authors’ overriding message is that the most disastrous thing that can befall a quality effort is an overconcentration on only one aspect of the process. Another message that comes through resoundingly clear in Quality in Action is that the quality process doesn’t begin and end in the executive suite. It happens at every level, and when it works, the commitment to quality can make every employee’s job more satisfying, while also offering customers greater value for their money. The myths, fables, and realities that you will encounter in Quality in Action offer profound lessons for virtually everyone at each level of your organization.

About the Author :

About the authors PATRICK L. TOWNSEND is a noted speaker and consultant on quality. From 1983–1987 he directed and coordinated the most active employee participation quality process in the country: In just three years, the 250 Quality Teams at the Paul Revere Insurance Group implemented over 20,000 Quality Ideas, saving the company $16 million dollars and boosting the company’s position to number one. He is the author of the bestselling book Commit to Quality and has written hundreds of articles. He is President of Townsend & Gebhardt—Advisers on Quality, a quality management and training company. Mr. Townsend lives and works in Holden, Massachusetts. JOAN E. GEBHARDT collaborated with Patrick Townsend on Commit to Quality and is his partner at Avatar. She honed her opinions on quality in a number of settings, including elementary school teaching, public relations, electric motor sales, administrative assistant, dorm mother, and professional entertainer.

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Townsend, Patrick L.; Gebhardt, Joan E.
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