by: Media Extracts (South East Asia – Singapore)
Define “Quality” And How To Assure It
Smart readers would already know the answers.
First of all, “quality” can be defined in various forms and packages based on Selected KNOWN CRITERIA.
And the answer for the 2nd subject is, there’s no such thing as concrete as a 100% assurance for any given set of quality critera.
Today’s Lion CITY local media (ST) reported on the follow-ups of corruption cases involving very senior civil servants in public service. It is reported by media that the above mentioned former chief of Civil Defence who is an elite govt. scholar appointed to the top rank of the force, is now being charged in court for corruption cases in which he (as reported by media) had accepted sex favours from SEVERAL women in return for public contract tenders!!! The media reports that several senior ranking officials also are found to be involved and would appear in court SOON. These guys being charged must had been rated among the top quality calibre of talented pool in the selection process, otherwise they won’t advance this far up the ranks.
Those who believe and worship stringent selction criteria and process should also take note. While it is expected that for significant positions, roles and awards, stringent selection process should apply; however, this is by no mean full-proof quality assurance.
The ONLY way to guage quality of men is “test of fire”. i.e. Until there’s a real challenge or crisis.
So, it may not be a good strategy at all to question your opponent’s (or competitor) “quality” when your own house is also not 100% quality assured. Processes will help to improve quality but, it’s never good enough to play God and call it full-proof.
To end the media story, the following dialogue between a journalist and a Japenese military general (long after the WW II) is a precise illustration of quality assurance myth:
Journalist: “When we look back on the world war II history, it’s no doubt about the fighting spirit of Japanese military men, especially their courage and bravery.”
Jap Gen: “Yes, indeed.”
Journalist: “Would you agree that the soldiers were totally committed and brave in every combat situation?”
Jap Gen: “Oh… that I would not be sure to say.”
Journalist: “But why? Wouldn’t it the quality of all Japanese soldiers?”
Jap Gen: “To be very frank with you, ONLY outcomes would tell whether they are really brave enough in that situaton… “