Lessons on Quality Management from Kobe Steel

The article was originally published in Quality Digest on March 26, 2018 The cheating at Kobe Steel shook not just Japan but the entire manufacturing world. As Kobe Steel CEO Hiroya Kawasaki revealed, about 500 companies had received its falsely certified products, which affected not only those companies but also its entire supply chain. However, the issue at Kobe was only the…

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Three Reasons Why Customers Are Not Always Right

We all know the famous quote, “The customer is always right.” It was coined more than a century ago. In the United States, it was popularized by Marshall Field during the early 1900s. In the United Kingdom, it was popularized by Harry Gordon Selfridge of luxury retailer Selfridge’s fame. Since then, businesses have used it generously to demonstrate their focus…

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How a University used treehouses to foster collaboration

The founders of Shoolini University at picturesque Solan in Northern India, were trying to solve a problem which is often overlooked by academic institutes. The rigorous academic schedule made the students spend most of their time either in the class-rooms or in the library. The group interactions were confined to classrooms, laboratories, hostels, social events, dramatics and sports activities. Co-founder…

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3 Reasons Why Scientists And Researchers Need Formal Leadership Training

This piece first appeared in The Huffington Post on September 6, 2017 I have had the opportunity to interact with many scientists and science researchers over the years. These are individuals who have spent their lives in academia or research institutes. Upon speaking to them, certain themes emerge again and again—curiosity, eye for detail, dedication, perseverance, deep subject matter expertise,…

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Here Are Six Ways To ‘Bask In Reflected Glory’ In The Workplace

This piece first appeared in The Huffington Post on Jul 3, 2017 What is BIRGing? This is a word derived from the acronym, BIRG, which stands for — basking in reflective glory. Or, the tendency among individuals to associate with people and entities who are successful. The entities could be a team, an organization or a social group. These individuals…

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Does A Company Really Care About Its Customers: These Three Instances Will Tell You

This piece was originally published in The Huffington Post on June 22, 2017 Organisations aspire to be customer-centric. They launch big transformation programs to try and align the entire organisation towards this goal. To make it happen, they look at customer insights, understand customer journeys, launch specific customer propositions, train employees and work on employee engagement programs. A CEO committed to customer-centricity…

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10 Reasons Why Employees Don’t Follow Organisational Processes

This piece first appeared in The Huffington Post on Mar 30, 2017   Processes are an integral part of all enterprises. And as I mentioned in one of my earlier pieces, if processes are not instituted, modelled or followed properly then the results may just take the form of a fried lizard on a customer’s plate. With an objective to…

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Use These Eight Guiding Principles To Build A Customer-Centric Company

This was originally published in The Huffington Post on May 16, 2017 Customers are the reason why businesses exist. Many businesses want to be customer-centric and spend time, money and other resources to make it happen. But they don’t get the desired results. One reason why this happens is the lack of a holistic approach by the top management. When…

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These Are The Two Things That Customers Expect From A Business

This article first appeared in The Huffington Post on May 7, 2017   What do customers really want? Plenty has been written on the subject. Companies do tons of research to find out what their customers want. They do market research, commission ethnographic studies, set up focus-groups, and much more. These are all important, of course. But if you zoom…

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