The realization of TQM change in a newly changed culture

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Charmaine Joy V. Zhang

4HR2 October 10, 2013

The realization of TQM change in a newly changed culture

It is of no myth that the Total Quality Management (TQM) has always been known to be on the field of marketing, production, and development. It is only recently where researchers are able to link TQM to Human Resource (HR), well, I think also because HR has only just recently stood out as having of equal footing as with the other department in a company. In a traditional organization where the corporate culture remains so intact for change to be penetrated, I began to realize the need of marrying quality and culture for change to arise.

Reading an article about Total Quality-oriented Human Resource Management (TQHRM) from Total Quality-Oriented Human Resources Management of David E. Bowen and Edward E, Lawler III, where they explained the important connection of quality management and the many facets of HR, lead me to a feeling similar to what Edgar H. Shein described from his book The Corporate Culture Survival Guide as the Survival Anxiety, the reaction from a disconfirmation that when left untouched or unchanged something bad will happen. We see the importance of HR and the application of quality management together, however, given a different scenario, the application of TQHRM would prove to be difficult for the newly changed environment as with every change, a newborn resistance is formed.

Like in any marriage, one must need to get along with the other in order to work. I always believe of the equation: Good HR equals good profit. Having a well managed HR, keeps employees happy, they will be satisfied. With satisfied employees, then there will be no problem subjecting them to training, with new knowledge and set of skills added, they will feel motivated and while being skilled, which will reflect on their output and customers will be satisfied and continue to patron the output of the organization. As for TQM, quality as always matters. Doing it right the first time, focusing on the customers, strategic and holistic approach to improvement, and respect towards the people. I just think for HR and TQM to go along, clear understanding of the culture should be present first. We need culture-adaptable TQHRM approach.

HR lead a very significant role in a company as it deals with the most dominant anatomy of the organization- the people. Adapting to change is one of the key towards success of an organization, but tailor-fitting the people to adapt to change is a challenge. How can traditional HR integrate the TQHRM? How can a company go on par competitively when the important aspect of it remains obsolete. The marketing and production may have already integrated the principles of quality management, but the most inner core remains worn out the overall success or progress may not be too evident if there is any. I think that as HR, we can’t just merely apply the principles of TQM without first considering the adaptive culture of the organization. Otherwise, whatever changes HR adds would only face restrictions from the people.

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Driving Towards Change Using Toyota.

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Charmaine Joy V. Zhang

4HR2 October 3, 2013

 

Driving Towards Change Using Toyota.

Students have been bombarded with too much theoretical information that they sometimes take it for granted; they began to not see beyond the thick pages or the pixel data they download. Student leaders especially, should be able to see and understand the real life application of what they study, or at least find connection with them. As a Human Resource (HR) student, studying culture change and the roles of an HR in a company, I feel the urgency of need to apply these concepts in order to test them out and see them work first-hand. What better outlet I can use than with my own publication. As an editor, among the many change concepts I’ve read in my HR-student lifetime, the Toyota way is the most applicable concept I find very useful. The three main concept I’ve come up with out of the Toyota’s way are: To Never Under steer, To Never Over steer, and to always Apply the Neutral Handling.

  1.  Never Under steer- Under steering means applying not enough force to the wheel and in turn would drift the car off the road course as it missed its intended turn. As an editor, I see among the others the need to apply Toyota’s Kaizen. Kaizen according to Toyota’s definition is the continual improvement. Our writers need to continuously study and improve their craft in order to become even better and competitive writers. Likewise, for me as an editor is an even more need to further harness my skills. Otherwise, we would see ourselves drift from being a college publication to type writing monkeys. It is a must to apply the right amount of force to maneuver our wheels towards improvement.
  2.   Never Over Steer- contrary to under steering according to motor jargon, over steering is applying too much force to the wheel causing it to make a sharp turn and ending up making a round trip spin back to where they started. While it is important to continue to harness one’s skills one may need to put into mind the need for it would also mean that weaknesses would surface in order to overcome it. Otherwise, if one would take the heed- for- improvement too seriously and not seeing past the mistakes, they may take it negatively instead of constructively hence to never over steer. Toyota teaches us to apply Hansei. According to Toyota, this means to self reflect, it is an attitude to reflect on the mistakes committed and positively make an effort to change and make up for it. This I find difficult to apply, as sometimes in an organization, mistake is not an option. But since most of the time mistakes are inevitable (even with all the measures conducted to avoid it), I try to study these mistakes and take it as positive reinforcement to correct myself. Let us not over steer our gear thinking we won’t need these improvement.
  3. Apply The Neutral Handling- Neutral handling driving is when you neither over steer nor under steer. Do you want to know what happens when neutral handling the steering wheel? Do you? Then go find out.  Watch, observe, and understand in order to know. That brings me to my last point, the Genchi Genbutsu. According to Toyota system’s creator Taiichi Ohno it means to Go and see the actual situation to understand. This concept means that you need to actually engage yourself to understand if you have problems over steering or under steering. How would you know when your skills need power steering or manual steering when you don’t understand your problem in the first place. It’s better to share something you know because you have experienced it first-hand than knowing it from books or from other people’s mouth. A similar case whenever I edit new articles, even though I have trust that my news writers gather their data from credible sources, I would still immerse myself with the actual data gathering to confirm the facts. Publishing credible facts is our business. So it is very important. To add another example. Since our publication also serves as an organization, sometimes internal conflict occurs. In order for me to present the problems we have at hand to the Editor-in-Chief, I need to engage myself, step back, and observe to understand what the problems are, why they are occurring, and how to propose solutions. That’s Genchi Genbutsu. So always remember that whenever you see problems under steering and over steering, go neutral handling. It’s safer.

With all said, these concepts would seem simple and easy to apply. However, it is undermining these concepts is what makes it harder to implement.  Put a break to ego and try to strictly implement these very simple concepts. A way towards visible change is to stick to the plan with integrity. It’s all the same banana in any other change theory books. But basically it’s all about gearing towards improvement, self improvement, and innovative solutions. Never Under Steer your wheel, always exert the right amount of effort towards improvement to get yourself on the right track, Never Over Steer, give the right amount of attitude towards change seeing past the mistakes committed to avoid spinning your wheel back to where you started, and lastly Apply Neutral Handling, put yourself out there, feel the track yourself and understand which curb is the right turn.  

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