The round table 21st Century Top Management Challenges in Quality and the Implications for Implementation and Culture Change was an exclusive event for CQI Corporate Partners that took place on 5 March at the CQI offices in London, and it was held in collaboration with The Oakland Institute for Business Research and Education

Participants heard about a recent research from The Oakland Institute for Business Research and Education, in collaboration with Leeds University Business School and Valueneer, an expert procurement company in Germany. They are currently studying how failure to manage quality in today’s fast-moving world may be damaging the reputation and financial returns of organisations around the globe. 

During the event, John Oakland, Professor Emeritus at Leeds University Business School, and Director and Founder of The Oakland Institute for Business Research and Education, shared with CQI Corporate Partners the initial conclusions of the research. For instance, the research found that, although most CEOs demonstrate a clear commitment to quality, they are not, in practice, ensuring that quality policies are aligned with the company strategy, promoting continuous improvement throughout the company and supply chain, or ensuring there is a well-developed knowledge of quality tools and techniques throughout the company.

The research also found that companies whose CEOs and executive teams demonstrate leadership, commitment and set strategy and are good at implementing quality management, have a lower rate of major failures or recalls.

Those attending were encouraged to share the research conclusions with their managers. “I would like the audience today to recognise that top management is not walking the talk,” said Oakland. “They are saying the right things about quality, but they are not necessarily following through on the implementation. They probably need help with what to do. Quality professionals need to head to the executive offices and tell them they are not alone, and that the quality profession is here to help them implement the right quality strategies – which they seem to know about, but they don’t know how to implement.”