Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Quality is a subjective measure. What is “good enough” for one may not be so for another. I am a much higher quality facilitator now than I was twenty-five years ago when I first facilitated. At the same time, my definition of “facilitation” has grown and evolved through that time. We need to periodically revisit what is quality.
"Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution. It represents the wise choice of many alternatives." - John Ruskin
This quote tells the story. We create quality, it is not spontaneous. Quality is the outcome of the “wise choice of many alternatives.” A big part of producing quality is being very clear on the front end what quality means in the specific situation. Then when you reach a juncture you have something against which to carefully evaluate each option.
Before Computer Aided Drafting, engineers and draftsmen provided appropriate information on working drawings, sometimes on vellum with lead pencils. Two drawings could have virtually identical information, yet one be of consistent line quality, clean and neat, precisely lettered, and definitely be of higher quality.
Quality is never an accident. I believe the process of producing quality must start with agreement on what is the desired outcome.
The next time you are involved in a project at work, ask the group to help you define quality in the product. Take a short while to brainstorm among all participants what constitutes a complete definition of quality, then write it down and ensure everyone knows their part in producing that outcome.
Guest Post: Carl DeVilbiss is a long time friend and mentor. He helps businesses, teams and individuals improve their performance. Carl taps into 30 years of training, experience and skills to gain alignment and cooperation with groups. He brings a special level of communications, introspection and collaboration that generates results.
FYI - The lead image was taken by me while in China at the Forbidden City. This was a small door hinge, that was in a place almost no one would see. Quality was demanded in all aspects of the building of the Forbidden City.

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