Excellence as a Way of Life
In any organisation, the search for Quality requires a number of changes in the way of doing things (mastery and improvement of processes, of communication channels, of internal and external customer/supplier relationships) and of ways of being (company culture, values and mindset). This can't be improvised.
The changes usually require the implementation of a project to plan, structure and implement them. New work groups will appear during the project. Some will be temporary while others will be permanent.
The overall and fundamental idea is that, over time, you move from a conscious thought process focused on improving Quality and communication to unconscious, automatic, instinctive, natural and spontaneous ways of doing things. This is what we call "Excellence as a Way of Life®".
While the concept behind the "Quality project" eventually comes to an end, the structures set up to implement the mindset, culture and processes for improvement and innovation continue to live and carry on.
A well-known model
An improvement approach generally includes several phases, whether you're getting your driver's license or improving working processes in a company.
"Unconsciously incompetent": the words often seem very direct and harsh, but they really do express what we are trying to say. In many cases, I don't perform well (or not optimally), and I don't even realize it. I think I know how to drive Dad's car but, in fact, the truth is quite different...
"Consciously incompetent": I become aware of my/our shortcomings and of opportunities for improvement. I realise that driving a car requires training and a lot of practice…
"Consciously competent": it’s by taking little steps that we improve and progress towards ever-increasing mastery of our processes and ways of doing things. Consciously and in a well-thought-out way. I realise that I am slowly but surely mastering the vehicle…
"Unconsciously competent": by revisiting good practices and attitudes on a regular basis and multiplying opportunities for improvement, we realise that we automatically "do well", that we are spontaneously "customer focused", that we communicate "naturally" on a regular basis, etc. Once I have my license in pocket, I realise that driving has become natural and that I can truly focus on the road, the traffic and the unexpected rather than on the gear shift, etc.