Updated: Apr 6, 2022
Principle 2 (ISO 9000): Leadership
Leaders communicate the unification and purpose of an organization. They provide the focus and the values for everyone to follow. They do this by establishing and reinforcing the organization’s objectives, creating an environment to foster their realization, and providing the proper resources.
People need to understand the organization’s goals and have the proper training and equipment to do the job. The more complex and multi-layered an organization, the more challenging it is to provide this direction in an unambiguous manner.
“Human Systems” get their direction and their motivation from the leader. The leader must understand the basics of human behavior, every bit as much as the AV engineer must understand what each component in an AV system requires to operate properly. The organization’s leadership must viscerally understand the quality principles, as well as the goals in order to communicate them to the team.
Beyond basic dignities and respect due to every human, the leader learns and practices daily: Challenge, appreciation, and recognition. It takes time for the team to trust the leader, and the leader’s reaction to events provides the proof-of-performance in leadership skills. You can’t just “talk the talk”; dramatic actions speak so loud that the team can’t hear the words.
Is the working environment free of fear? Are they given the training and freedom to act? Does the leader go about every day finding something someone is doing right, and letting them know it? Does the team exert some control in the direction the organization is taking? Do they receive objective reporting on the effects of their actions? Is there trust?
People do not take well to change, and a dynamic quality-led company is always changing. People would rather work-around change, and stick to “that’s how we’ve always done it around here”. Technology companies, even small ones, are comprised of small units with work specialization: drafting, engineering, fabrication, etc. It’s easy to get lost in the technology and lose sight of focusing on what the client wanted in the first place.
When a properly trained, equipped, and motivated professional has the proper materials in synchrony with all the necessary information to know what to do with those materials, we say that “A-V takes place”.
Getting all the above to happen takes active, participatory leadership.