PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Jan2015

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52 The PCB Magazine • January 2015 by Steve Williams sTeVe Williams ConsulTing llC Steve's Particular Skill Set for Today's Quality Professional Point of View In today's business environment, a top- quality executive in any organization needs to have a hybrid skill set that crosses many func- tions outside of quality: sales, marketing, opera- tions, conflict resolution, human resources, and finance. It is a rare and unique person who can do all of this, well. Steve's Particular Set of Skills One of the most important decisions a qual- ity organization can make is the selection of its leader. This person will most likely be the face of the company with customers, suppliers, and your ISO registrar as the organization's ISO management representative. To differentiate yourself as a world-class organization, the skill set of your senior quality professional must go way beyond the requisite technical competen- cies called for in the job description. In this column, I will be sharing with you a very particular set of skills—skills I have ac- quired over a lengthy career. These skills will make you a nightmare for any auditor looking to slap you with numerous findings. A person with this skill set will be able to elevate your organization—from the middle of the pack to the rarified air of the exceptional. (As a side note, after seeing his 2008 block- buster movie "Taken," I called my friend Liam Neeson and gave him hell for stealing my skill set quote for his Bryan Mills character!) My Particular Set of Skills 1. Charismatic leadership The reason most quality systems fail is the lack of employee buy-in. The ability to success- fully promote and sell the vision is the differ- ence between success and failure. 2. Political savvy Politics are present in every organization; the key is to recognize it and manage it accord- ingly. Political crosscurrents will often distract and roadblock efforts to change the status quo. 3. Sense of humor and the knack to know when to use it appropriately Humor works! Whether to defuse an un- comfortable situation, sell an idea or simply to add some levity to a tedious working session, the proper use of humor is priceless. 4. Practical business sense With apologies to my good friend Phil Cros- by, quality is NOT free. Any change to an exist- Column

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