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Three Pillars of Quality

David Straker


This article first appeared Quality World, the journal of the Chartered Quality Institute


-- part 1 -- part 2 -- part 3 -- part 4 --
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1 TQM actually started in 1951, with the publication of Armand Feigenbaum’s Total Quality Control


A brief bibliography for new understanding


Those who would change the world must first understand it. This is a very short reading list in some topics of interest, many of which influenced the ideas in this paper. You will not find any books on statistics or traditional quality tools here: these are a given and assumed to already have a place in your library. These books are intended to help you push the envelope of your understanding.



Peggy Holman and Tom Devane (eds), The Change Handbook, Berrett-Koehler, 1999 - a marvellous set of summaries of all the major big-systems change methodologies, all by the original proponents

Everett Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations (3rd Edition), Free Press, 1983 - the original work on how ideas spread through groups of people. This is where the term ‘early adopter’ came from.


Chaos and complexity

John L. Casti, Complexification, Abacus, 1994 - a good ‘popular science’ book that covers the various areas of complexity, catastrophe, emergence

Shona L. Brown and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, Competing on the Edge, Harvard Business School Press, 1998 - a very practical application of chaos principles to business strategy



Paco Underhill, Why we buy, Touchstone, 1999 - a finely-observed book, nominally on how people shop in retail environments, but really about how to see what is really happening

Frederick F. Reichheld, The Loyalty Effect, Harvard Business School Press, 1996 - a view of the whole system of loyalty, including customer, employee and shareholder loyalty



Scott Plous, The Psychology of Judgement and Decision-making, McGraw Hill, 1993 - a concise set of descriptions of most of the patterns of (largely dysfunctional) behaviour we use when making decisions

Gary Klein, Sources of Power, MIT Press, 1999 - the result of a long study of rapid life-and-death decisions made under pressure, such as with fire fighters, where ‘intuition’ is a major tool



Roger Fisher and William Ury, Getting to Yes, Business Books, 1981 - the original and still the best book on collaborative negotiation

G. Richard Shell, Bargaining for Advantage, Penguin books, 1999 - the best of the modern books from the director of the ‘Wharton executive negotiation workshop’



IF Price and Ray Shaw, Shifting the Patterns, Management books 2000, 1998 - a serious look at patterns in organisations

Christopher Alexander, The Timeless Way of Building, Oxford University Press, 1979 - this describes the development of the pattern language for buildings through penetrating observation of what really does and does not work in practice



John Sterman, Business Dynamics, McGraw-Hill, 2000 - the definitive work on systems thinking, causal loops and modelling. Big but readable and essential

Russell Ackoff, Recreating the Corporation, Oxford University Press, 1999 - the latest from the old master. Includes many of his principles about systems along with applications in organisation design


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