The Mystery of Commitment

by Qimpro Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
0 2335 5.0/5

In an English breakfast of bacon and eggs, which is more committed? The pig? Or the hen?

Organizations desire commitment at all levels.

But how do you get commitment for quality from the top management? It isn’t that they are not committed. What I mean is committed-committed.

The Chairman of a large steel plant, in the 1980s, resisted any formal quality intervention on the grounds that even the 3 percent seconds (read – rejects) of steel from his plant had a pent-up demand. Is seconds an opportunity or a threat? By translating the 3 per cent seconds into the language of top management, the opportunity converted to a threat. The language was that of money.

The alarm for 3 percent seconds was 30 percent of total cost! This is referred to as the Cost Of Poor Quality.

The Chairman compared that figure with his profit. He instantaneously became committed to drastically reducing the seconds. He assembled other members of the top management and declared war on waste! The Commander-in-Chief was none other than his legendary Managing Director. All the rank and file from all functions stood committed to the declared war.

Why had the Chairman not seen it this way before?

Ten years later the same steel plant became the lowest cost, steel producer in the world. A further decade on it acquired an ailing steel company in the UK. The UK company is a turnaround story today, importing the best practices from the Indian parent.

Finally, the answer to the original question on commitment is – the pig! He sacrifices his life.

Lessons Learned

  1. Speak the language of management – money
  2. Lock the monetary opportunity into the strategic plan
  3. Set global goals with local capabilities
  4. Get the commitment fi rst. A change in behaviour will follow
  5. Inefficiencies in processes are the hatcheries for waste
  6. Waste translated into Cost Of Poor Quality can trigger a thundering alarm
Rate this Fable:
Login or Signup to rate this fable.


Post your comment
Login or Signup to post comments.