One of the wonderful things about e-mail is the access it provides. I receive communications from individuals all around the world. In the past, the probability of having contact with so many different people was minimal. But now they just type in my e-mail address, and their messages arrive instantly. I always answer these e-mails as soon as I see them.
Many of the messages are from college and MBA students who want professional information or my opinion. Some of them want to question something I have written or said. Often, such a communication requires several exchanges. With this in mind, I have added a chat page to my Web site, www.philipcrosby.com, to encourage people to converse on any subject.
Many of the e-mails are complaints about the way quality is managed at the e-mailer's company. People at the working level, in particular, are concerned about how their companies are going to survive if management doesn't get serious about quality. These writers are in an uproar. Management is doing all the conventional things--getting certified and all that--but the products and services are just not what they are supposed to be. And, when cutbacks come, quality is affected.
These correspondents ask for my help. I tell them I will be glad to come to their place of business and talk to the management about quality, if the management will invite me to do so. It's not possible to help those who don't want help. Management needs to understand that we're dealing with a philosophy here, not procedures.
I have been editing my autobiography, which will come out early in 1999 from Jossey-Bass. It reminded me that I have never worked with an organization that didn't decide beforehand that it needed educational help. Funny how the people who do the real work can see what management never notices.
About the author
Philip B. Crosby, a popular speaker and founder of Philip Crosby Associates--now PCA II--is also the author of several books, including Quality Is Still Free (McGraw-Hill, 1995) and The Absolutes of Leadership (Jossey-Bass, 1996). Visit his Web site at www.philipcrosby.com.