Quality Matters

In 1993 (although it feels more like 1893!), I had been teaching Biology for about 8 years, when I decided to take a Diploma in Management at Portsmouth University. It was a real eye-opener as I was the only person on the course who worked in Education. There were all sorts of people on the course; people who worked for multi-national companies, people who were coming out of the Navy or people who worked for local Government or solicitors etc, etc. The thing that struck me was the difference in approach to Quality Management between the world of state education and the world of business/industry. Standards of behaviour and professionalism were clearly so much higher in companies such as IBM, BT and M&S. I spent the next twenty years studying Quality Management and what makes outstanding organisations more competitive. In the same way as some species have become extinct, such as the Dodo, recent examples such as Woolworths, Jessops and Blockbuster remind us all too well that companies can go out of business forever.

So what is the secret of survival? In my opinion, bacteria are the most successful organism on the planet as they have the ability to adapt quickly to their environment. Similarly, organisations and indeed individuals need to adapt more and more quickly to our increasingly unstable global economic environment. Therefore, it is important that we take every opportunity that life offers us and spend a lifetime upskilling and becoming more competitive. Dr Jon Cartmell