MILWAUKEE, WI — Clearly stated quality vision and values, and unequivocal leadership are key components to a successful culture of quality that can help organizations drive results, according to new research from ASQ and Forbes Insights.
But only about 60 percent of all respondents say management unequivocally supports their organization’s quality vision and values, of which about 60 percent say are clearly stated. In Europe and Asia, about 50 percent of respondents say their organizations have clear quality visions and values, according to the research.
“Culture of Quality: Accelerating Growth and Performance in the Enterprise” explores organizations’ support of quality and the key components of a successful culture of quality. This study offers — from organizations like Samsung, FedEx, and Tata — actionable insight into how a quality-driven culture can accelerate business performance. The research draws on the responses of 1,010 senior leaders and 1,281 quality professionals worldwide from a multitude of industries. The survey was conducted online in April.
“In order to be effective, a culture of quality must permeate an entire organization,” said ASQ Chair Stephen Hacker. “This research provides first-hand and real-world examples from industry leaders of how to strengthen and sustain a high-impact quality culture — which can have dramatic and positive effects on an organization’s bottom line.”
"Organizations range from those where quality is just a slogan to those where quality is a deep focus for everyone from the CEO on down," said Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer at Forbes Media. "This study shows which elements are vital for a strong culture of quality."
The survey results also reveal gaps between senior leaders’ and quality professionals’ views on culture of quality.
According to the research, 72 percent of senior leaders rate their quality programs as world class — the strongest in the world — or advanced. In comparison, 40 percent of midlevel, quality-focused respondents view their programs as world class or advanced. Sixty percent of quality-focused respondents instead rank their quality program as average or below average.
The disparity is likely due to “filtered, big-picture material that has been ‘prettied up’ for management,” according to Elizabeth Keim, a managing partner at Integrated Quality Resources, and project advisor.
“I think the deeper you dive into an organization’s chart, the closer those people are to the detail of what is happening,” according to Dan Afseth, software development leader at Intuit and project advisor. “If you’re close to the challenge, you see the precise changes still needing to be made. Whereas from the top, you see great progress.”
Other findings include:
• 59 percent of respondents say their organization has a comprehensive, groupwide culture of quality.
• 48 percent say customer needs are the key driver of their quality programs.
• 24 percent of respondents strongly agree that they actively involve customers in quality discussions.
• 53 percent say their organization plans to increase investment in quality programs in the next 18 months.
To download the research paper, or for more information about the research, visit cultureofquality.org.