Content By Craig Cochran

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By: Craig Cochran

ISO 9001 might be the most confusing document in business history. I first became aware of the standard in the late 1980s when my manager handed it to me and said, “See if you can figure this thing out. Our plant has to get certified.”

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By: Craig Cochran

ISO 9001:2015 does a lot of things right, but using clear language isn’t one of them.

One of the most glaring examples is the transformation of the word “records” into “retained documented information.” That's right, the standard’s updaters took one word and turned it into three. And the three words aren’t nearly as intuitive as the one word they replaced.

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By: Craig Cochran

President Obama was recently quoted in a CBS news article as saying that if he could change anything about his presidency, it would be to tell more stories. That got me thinking. Could “storyteller” really be a legitimate role for a leader?

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By: Craig Cochran

Product certifications have exploded in recent years. Products ranging from pine lumber to children’s toys carry some sort of certification, and the organizations issuing certifications are as diverse as the products themselves. What are the practical values of these certifications? What are the pitfalls and limitations? In this article I will explore these issues and propose some recommendations for a product certification program that is meaningful and helpful to consumers and producers alike.

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By: Craig Cochran

When I first got into quality, I really hated verifying the effectiveness of actions taken to correct a problem. After all, I was young and inexperienced. All of the people whose actions I was verifying were older, wiser, and more experienced than I was. Who was I to say that their actions were effective or ineffective? My assumptions were as follows:

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By Craig Cochran

So you have a customer complaint. It’s not just any complaint, but a huge one from your biggest customer. The problem affects millions of dollars in business and threatens the survival of your company. Are you going to take action? Of course! You put together a team of top players and attack it head-on.

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By Craig Cochran

A few years ago, we had a mysterious scratching sound in our attic. My 5-year-old daughter was terrified, and everybody’s sleep was being interrupted on a nightly basis.

“We need to do something about the noise in our attic,” I told my daughter.

“No!” she cried. “Don’t go into the attic. It’s too scary.”

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By: Craig Cochran

War heroes are a special category of leaders. They embody bravery, resoluteness, and strength—quintessential attributes of good leaders. This is exactly the sort of leader Shakespeare gives us at the beginning of Macbeth.

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By: Craig Cochran

A few years ago, I had the good fortune of doing some consulting with B&C Specialty Products in Hopeulikit, Georgia. B&C does light manufacturing, primarily plastic molding and assembly, and they also distribute imported products produced by companies in the Far East. They have about 150 employees and are the biggest employer by far in Hopeulikit.

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By: Craig Cochran

Last year, I had the good fortune of doing some consulting with B&C Specialty Products in Hopeulikit, Georgia. B&C does light manufacturing, primarily plastic molding and assembly, and they also distribute imported products produced by companies in the Far East. They have about 150 employees and are the biggest employer by far in Hopeulikit.