Friday, May 12, 2017

May 20, 2017 Blind Foundation for India Music Program

Can you imagine, the pleasure of a blind person who can see the beautiful colors, enjoy nature, enjoy just walking without assistance for the first time,....If so, let us open our hearts and give to Blind Foundation for India. Very reasonable tickets...including DINNER, musical evening with Drs. Dipak & Sheela Shah, Sa Re Ga Ma Orchestra (Hitesh Master), well known comedian Dinkar Mehta from India.., and a guest artist Pratibha Jairath. See the Flyer for details. BFI Website:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Blind Foundation for India nominated in the 'Best Community Organization'​ category of 2017 iCAN Awards Program in Chicago area

Vote NOW for the BLIND FOUNDATION FOR INDIA, The Poll closes on Thursday, March 9, 2017. Please take 1-2 minutes of your time to vote at:    

Appreciate your kindness to promote the cause of blindness prevention and cure in India which is home to over 15 million blind people, amounting to 1/3rd of the World's blind population. Blessings of blind men, women, and children in India are with you!  
                                                                                                                          "God Kindly Lead  Us From Darkness to Light!” 

Please share this information widely among your circle of contacts globally (voting is open for the global community until 3-9-17).

Dr. Manu Vora, Founder, Director, President, Blind Foundation for India

Friday, May 6, 2016

Employee Engagement on Quality Roundtable

This post is for the ASQ's June 2016 Roundtable Discussion of the following topic:

Employee engagement:

1). To what extent do organizations—whether your current employer or previous ones--engage employees about the importance of quality?  
2). How should companies approach this issue? 
3). How can they avoid “sloganeering” and make a real difference?

I want to share my personal experience working with many organizations over 40 years globally and my teaching quality management world-wide for over 23 years as follows:

1). At AT&T Bell Laboratories in Switching Systems Business Unit (SSBU) and International Switching Customer Business Unit (ISCBU) there was great focus on quality improvement initiatives led by Vice President and Executive Directors. The following approaches were undertaken to engage employees about importance of quality:

  • Senior Leadership Team (Executive Directors and Directors) was trained in Quality 101 course to expose them to the importance of quality planning and improvement. 
  • All employees were systematically trained in AT&T's 7 steps Process Quality Management & Improvement (PQMI) guidelines. This led to Division-wide ISO 9001 certification in one year.
  • Systematically deployed US Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework to assess all Business Units on an annual basis.
  • Held Quality Improvement Recognition Events to spread innovative quality improvement initiatives among the workforce.
  • Developed and deployed Employee Recognition & Celebration Process to recognize great work done throughout the Division.
  • The author has trained over 350 professionals at AT&T Bell Labs in ASQ's Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) refresher courses over a five-year period. Of the 350 trainees, 200 took the CQE Exam and 89 became ASQ Certified Quality Engineers.
  • For a decade organized Satellite Broadcast of ASQ's National Quality Month programs to expose all employees to the state-of-the-art quality management practices.
2). Organizations should follow general principles of Talent Engagement Model  shown below for recruiting, involving, motivating, developing, and retaining employees to instill quality improvement culture.

Here are some pointers for effective employee engagement for quality culture:
  • Recruit employees with talent and train them for skills (Reference: Buckingham, M. and Coffman, C. (1999). First Break All the Rules, Gallup Press, Omaha, NE).
  • Involve employees by exposing them to effective teamwork, orientation, mentoring, and effective meeting management practices.
  • Motivate employees by establishing recognition and suggestion systems. Follow the Theory of Strengths (Reference: Clifton, D. O. and Nelson, P. (1992). Soar with Your Strengths, Dell Publishing, New York, NY).
  • Develop employees with appropriate education and training, timely performance feedback, and coaching.
  • Retain key employees with regular dialogue between supervisor and employee at least quarterly (Kaye, B. and Jordan-Evans, S. (2013). Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay , 5th Edition, Barrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, CA)
  • Overall Reference: Vora, M. K. (2005). “Managing Human Capital” chapter in Six Sigma for Transactions and Service, P. 471-500, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.
3). To avoid sloganeering, coach senior leadership team in Dr. Deming's philosophy of systems thinking and expose them to hollowness of slogans versus systematic improvement to create value for the customers and organization.

I look forward to your views on employee engagement for quality.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Facing Cultural Barriers by Leaders to Strengthen a Culture of Quality

This blog post is in response to December 2015 ASQ Influential Voices topic "Facing Cultural Barriers by Leaders to Strengthen a Culture of Quality" a guest post  written by Luciana Paulise, the founder of Biztorming Training & Consulting, Argentina at:

Let me share my perspective of 40 years of professional work in observing for-profit and non-profit organisations globally. I gave a recent presentation on "Role of Leadership to Achieve Zero Defects Culture" at the ASQ Ahmedabad, India Local Member Community (LMC) on 28 November, 2015. The focus of my presentation and published article in the conference proceedings was as follows:

Role of Leadership for Zero Defects Culture based on Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework:

  • Create an ethical and socially responsible organization with good governance practices.
  • Define Vision, Mission, and Values and communicate it constantly to all stakeholders.
  • Direct resources to understand customers' needs and expectations.
  • Encourage use of state-of-the-art information management and knowledge management system.
  • Engage and energize employees to serve customers.
  • Support development of processes/systems to produce innovative products/services.
  • Lead supply chain management to create a sustainable organization with long-term growth.
Leadership commitment, engagement, involvement, and support are crucial in creating Zero Defects Organization Culture.

I concur with Luciana's observations that the responsibility clearly lies with the leadership team to manage their behavior to address spiritual, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs of people in their organizations.

The leadership is all about influencing, igniting, and inspiring ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things. It is up to the leadership team to elevate their organization to great heights with the help of all employees pulling in the same direction.

I look forward to learning from your experience in this area.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Talking To The C-Suite About Quality

This blog post is in response to November 2015 ASQ Influential Voices topic "Talking To The C-Suite About Quality"a guest post  written by Dr. Suresh Gettala, a Director at ASQ India at:

In his post Dr. Gettala made the following key points to move quality at C-Suite Level: 
  1. The Long Term - Short Term Continuum
  2. The Language of Metrics
  3. Economic Case for Quality
  4. Success Anecdotes
  5. The Big Q Approach
Let me offer my thoughts on above points as follows:

     1. The Long-Term - Short Term Continuum:

For C-Level executives it is imperative that they focus on long-term (3-5 years) and short-term (6 months - 12 months) business plan tactics when they develop Vision, Mission, Values, and Strategies (VMVS) for an organization. However, they need to be nimble enough to reevaluate VMVS when there are market, regulatory, or technological disruptions. 

Quality should be a common denominator while using SWOT Analysis for strategic planning. During regular reviews of strategic plan a focus should be on achieving results through continuous process improvements using a Balanced Scorecard approach.

     2.  The Language of Metrics:

As we are familiar with a Baldrige winner's phrase "In God we trust, everyone else, please bring the data". C-Suites should be made aware of critical dashboard metrics on Customers, Employees, Processes, and Finance (Balanced Scorecard) for a given strategy. Again quality is an integral part of the Balanced Scorecard metrics

     3.  Economic Case for Quality:

The easiest way to connect with C-Suites is using Cost of Quality approach. The Cost of Quality tool lets the executives know where is the waste in the system due to External and Internal Failures and how to address them through Prevention and Appraisals. As management understand the language of money, they are amenable to provide necessary resources to reduce the Cost of Quality through continuous process improvements.

     4. Success Anecdotes:

Another good phrase from a Baldrige winner is "It is OK to steal shamelessly, just provide credit". The central idea is Not to Reinvent the Wheel. If there are best practices available, understand and adopt them in your organizations as applicable. This is where one needs to work top management to harness the power of Benchmarking. We can certainly leverage best practice examples of US Baldrige Winners whose profiles are available at (1999-2014) at:

     5. The Big Q Approach:

At AT&T Bell Laboratories under the leadership of Senior Vice President Mr. Don Leonard in the Switching Systems Business Unit there was a major focus was on Big Q = Small q (performance) x Schedule (timeliness) x Cost (budget) . Provide customers what they want, when they want it, at an affordable price. The obligation for all employees is to focus on the above three metrics in their day-to-day work to achieve Big Q for the organization. It is easy to strike up a conversation at C-Level when one speaks of key efforts directed at achieving Big Q for the organization.

I would like to share few references as follows:
  • Manu Vora Discusses Government Quality in India (2014) at:      
I am looking forward to your experience in talking to the C-Suite about Quality.    

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Does Mission Matter?

This blog post is in response to September 2015 ASQ Influential Voices topic "Does Mission Matter?"a guest post  written by Pat La Londe, incoming ASQ board chair at:

I concur with Pat's guest post. Here is my experience around a mission in for-profits, non-profits, and academic teaching in business schools globally.

Let me begin with my blog post for September 2014 on "Charting A Strategy for Quality-and Beyond" at:

Let us look at definition of Vision, Mission, and Values first.

Vision/ Mission/ Values Definitions: 

Vision (Long-term Dream, Destination):
¨Is it inspiring?
¨Is it clear and vivid?
Mission (Purpose of being, Path to your vision):
¨Why you exist? (business purpose)
¨What you hope to achieve in the future?
¨Does the Mission provide focus and inspiration?
¨Does the Mission provide criteria for strategic choices?
Values (Guiding Principles):
¨What is important to people?
¨How will people work together? 

Few quick observations:

1). Mission is developed as a part of the strategic planning process by the senior leadership team.

2). Mission should link to the organization's vision. It is a path to achieve organization's vision.

3). It is critical to share the Vision, Mission, and Values widely across the entire organization including all stakeholders. This is the obligation of senior leadership team.

4). When business conditions change, the organization's strategic plan should be reviewed to address changes in the environment.

5). The mission should be realistic and not a pie-in-the-sky statement. 

6). The strategic plan should lead to developing key strategic initiatives and which need to be prioritized and staffed with competent people. A regular review of key strategies is essential to measure the progress and success of key strategies using a Balanced Scorecard.

I want to share an example of Mission for the Blind Foundation for India (BFI), USA  established in 1989 to support over 15 million blind people in India accounting for 1/3rd of the world's blind population. The BFI mission is: "To prevent and cure blindness, and educate and rehabilitate permanently blind people in India".

I look forward to your views on Mission of your organization.