The Integrity of Transactions
Recently I attended the annual American Society for Competitiveness conference, held this year in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ASC was founded in 1989 by concerned business leaders and professors to promote dialogue among decision makers of business, industry and education on global competitiveness issues. The conference highlights studies and experiences showing the state of different nations and entities globally.
I was invited to make a dinner speech and present the Philip Crosby Medals for Competitiveness Through Quality, which I have done for the past four years. Organizations are nominated by ASC members and evaluated by a committee selected for the purpose. The awards recognize organizations that have achieved visible results, not merely finished the job. When the ASC asked me if they could use my name for the awards, I specified the same criteria used in Nobel and Pulitzer prizes: no self-nomination and no long list of criteria. The lack of those two stipulations has doomed the Baldrige Award. ASC purposefully refrains from publicizing its award in order to avoid any implications of self-promotion.
The following awards were given:
* The medal for Global Competitiveness Through Quality in Alliance Building, presented to Microsoft and accepted by a senior executive.
* The medal for National Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership, presented to Southwest Airlines and accepted by Herb Kelleher, chairman and CEO.
* The medal for Growth Leadership Through Best Global Export Practices, presented to Toyota. Two groups received this award: motor sales, under President and CEO Yoshio Ishizak; and motor manufacturing, under President and CEO Mikio Kitano.
* The medal for Competitiveness Through Leadership Implementing Learning Organizations, presented to TTG Systems Inc. and accepted by Don Manuel, founder and CEO.
All of the recipients spoke about the complexity of dealing with many countries and cultures. Toyota, for example, ships righthand cars from Kentucky to Japan. Today, 80 percent of their production occurs outside Japan. Everyone emphasized the need to build what I call “the integrity of transactions” inside their organizations. Flying happy passengers to their planned destinations on time requires at least taking off on time. Many people and facilities are involved.
In our Quality College classes, we continually see people in management who are hopelessly confused about creating integrity in their companies. We teach them that integrity is a philosophy, not a series of procedures and techniques. Techniques make useful references, but are not ultimate goals in themselves. It is encouraging to see these award-winning companies emphasizing quality as the key to business success.
To contact ASC, write to Manton C. Gibbs, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, American Society for Competitiveness, P.O. Box 1658, Indiana, PA 15705.
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.