The Psychology of Quality and More

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Papers, essays and articles

Here are some papers, essays and articles on various topics. They should give you a realistic appreciation of our capabilities in research, synthesis and writing. Writings here are relatively few, because we prefer to focus here on quality rather than quantity.

Risky shift, Management and Outsourcing -- These may seem unlikely bedfellows, yet there is a common theme that threatens the success of peer groups, individual managers and all forms of external supply.

The Three Is of Consulting -- When employing consultants, companies seek three attributes, though sadly they do not always find them.

Cultural touchstones -- Some companies get journalistic benefit through becoming touchstones, yet this can lead to their downfall.

The Pathway to Reputation -- Although companies seek to define Brand in the boardroom, there is a long and twisting path to where the brand is really defined.

Quo Vadis -- Organizations vary in how they manage innovation. This paper identifies five different levels of organizational maturity in managing creativity and innovation.

The Tao of Branding -- Truly subtle and sophisticated branding can draw a lot of wisdom from the ancient philosophy of Taoism and the gentle power of Tai Chi. This essay explores the concepts and draws new ideas from the Taoist metaphor.

What is Quality? -- Quality has many definitions and a sometimes perplexing reputation. This article goes back basics and takes a bigger picture to frame quality into the fuller business context.

How Knowledge Management Systems Fail and Succeed -- Knowledge Management continues to be a critical factor in business yet, like many systems, it fails when the very human elements are not fully considered.

The Three Es of Process Excellence -- We often focus on Efficiency and Effectiveness in processes, but there is a missing 'third E' that, if ignored, can lead to process failure.

The Final Frontier -- There is great competitive benefit to be gained by companies who can grasp what is perhaps the final frontier for us: human psychology.

Breaking the Fad-Failure Cycle -- Around 80% of improvement and change programmes fail, largely due to a focus on quick results that overwhelms the longer-term sustainable value-creation.

The Social Success of Six Sigma -- A paradox about Six Sigma is that despite its 'hard' image, it succeeds by managing the 'soft' social aspects that have led to the failure of other improvement methodologies.

Beyond Six Sigma -- Six Sigma is not the final solution and maybe not the right solution for you. It can, however, be adjusted, extended and improved to suit most situations.

The Core Purpose of Governance -- The social and economic shocks of the early 21st century have awoken boards of governors to their difficult, but very necessary, purpose.

Three Pillars of Quality -- Modern quality started in the factory but soon spread out to the rest of the business. This legacy is still dominant. The further from the factory you are, the more quality benefits from new and different thinking.

The Emotional State-Transition Diagram -- The State-Transition Diagram can be used to map customer (and other) emotional states and hence increase understanding and finding ways to manage emotions and improve perceptions.

On Feedback, Delay and Damping -- Feedback done wrong leads to costly oscillation. A perfectly damped system is also an efficient one. This can also be applied to human performance feedback.

TATA Culture -- Changing organisational culture is notoriously difficult. Here is a simple model and method you can use with management teams to effect deep change.

Vampires, Victims and Value -- Do you have 'vampire' customers who seem to be more trouble than they are worth? You've also likely got three other types of customer. Here's how to sort them all out.

20-30-40 training -- Here's a way of structuring training for optimal experience and learning and avoiding problems associated with 'death by powerpoint'.

Them and Us -- The seeds of failure of governments and organizations is often based in a culture of 'them and us'.


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