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Total Quality Management and the art of motivating people


Here’s a stimulating enquiry from one of our readers, who wants the answer to questions that take me back to 1993, when I interviewed 20 European companies for a book on Total Quality Management. The enquiry goes to the heart of the matter.

  • ‘How is quality management and quality standard linked with motivation? (I will need a logical base for the main points of connection between them)’
  • ‘How will I motivate my staff toward achieving a fantastic quality standard?’

The first answer is to stop thinking about quality management and quality standards. You’re talking about TOTAL management. Your aim is to improve, continuously and forever, every process used in running the organisation and its output. The logical basis is that getting people to think and act within this overriding aim will of itself motivate them – it’s a benevolent as opposed to a vicious circle. The systematic introduction and operation of quality as a way of life will achieve phenomenal improvement.

This isn’t pie-in-the-sky exhortation. In writing the book I found that total quality companies followed these instructions:

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