TRIPLE III TIME – QUALITY: My Grandfather’s Method
No matter the product or service, almost all organizations or businesses large and small today have stepped up their focus on QUALITY. Some have a special employee designated exclusively to pursue and enforce QUALITY policies and procedures. Some companies/agencies even have an entire department assigned this very important product/service function.
Well for some reason during my recent consulting learning moments, thoughts about my Grandfather crept into my mind regarding how would he approach the QUALITY issue? Grandpa Nick was a lifetime farmer. No not a big acre/livestock farmer…just a small, proud, solid farmer. And some of my strongest memories of him are seeing him out hoeing a field of beans in almost 100 degree heat in his traditional wide-brim straw hat, dark green pants and long-sleeved shirt (i.e. his uniform). Most vividly I remember stopping to visit on my way home from college and asking: “Grandpa I can’t see one weed in this whole field and didn’t you hoe it once already…what is the point?” His smile was always the same and as he wiped the sweat off his forehead, his answer was both simple and timeless:
“It is the weeds you cannot see that separates a good field of beans from a bad one. If I offered to pay you or Grandma a quarter for every weed you could find…I bet you would find quite a few. And keeping weeds out is not a one day, one time job. You have to make the hoeing out weeds part of your everyday…that’s just good farming. So, when people drive by my fields of beans, they know that my beans will be the best, cleanest beans around…and I’ll make more money too! Now let’s go inside and see if Grandma has a few cookies.”
QUALITY is everyone’s job and you have to take it very personally. Don’t wait for someone to find QUALITY concerns or minimalized products or services in your organization or business. Remember my Grandpa’s words and seek/get out the weeds every day.