PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Jan2015

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54 The PCB Magazine • January 2015 ing system must fit and complement the overall organization's business practices. 5. Marketing mindset Marketing is everyone's job. The quality leader should take every opportunity to sell the company's strengths and capabilities to both external and internal customers. 6. Innate understanding of human nature People are creatures of habit and naturally resistant to change. Recognizing and managing this appropriately through the change process is critical. 7. Ability to convert tribal knowledge into a sustainable system A company's black magic needs to be un- covered and incorporated into the system to avoid losing decades of experience, knowledge and know-how. The failure to capture this has resulted in more than a few catastrophic fails in companies that thought they were smart by offering early retirement to their most senior employees. 8. Personality that fosters trust and confidence When making hiring decisions, personality is often undervalued. People have to trust their leader; as my favorite college professor John Houseman once told us, "We gain trust the old fashioned way: We earn it." 9. Ability to motivate a workforce Once the workforce buys in to the change, it must be implemented and most of the work will need to be done by others. Typically, you either have this skill, or you don't; it is not a learned behavior. 10. Cost/benefit mentality Understanding that every business process change has a cost, and the ability to do a cost/ benefit analysis assures you are not spending a dollar to save a dime. 11. Capacity to remain calm under extreme pressure This is the life of the quality professional; extreme pressure from all directions. Never let them see you sweat! 12. Big picture vision This is critical not only from an organiza- tional standpoint, but also from a customer per- spective. With an irate customer, sometimes it truly is better to lose the battle in order to win the war. 13. Motivational skill that inspires the best from others Take a lesson from my high school team- mate Michael Jordan; as insanely good as he was, his team never accomplished anything un- til he learned to get the best out of everyone playing alongside him. 14. Lean approach to continuous improvement It's OK to take baby steps; continued small incremental improvements will drive lasting improvement more than a few sporadic big- ticket gains. 15. Talent to identify drivers of operational improvement The quality leader must have the ability to see how all moving parts of the company fit to- gether and mesh, to be able to support overall operational improvement and drive change in the right areas. In our business, what is emerging is a step- change in quality thinking and practices that clearly has an impact on the role of the quality professional. Today's quality leaders must look outside their own traditional sandbox and be their organization's champions in transforming to a culture of improvement, which requires a particular set of skills. PCB steve Williams is the president of steve Williams Consulting llC and the former strategic sourcing manager for Plexus Corp. To read past columns, or to contact Williams, click here. STEvE'S PARTICuLAR SKILL SET FOR TODAy'S QuALITy PROFESSIONAL continues Point oF ViEw

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