Quintessence: The Foreword
The fine foreword kindly penned by Kevin Weiss, and excerpted from my new book “Quintessence“:
Most organisations don’t understand this basic fact: our product is the result of our culture, not the other way around. We persist in hiring industry veterans, adopting common best practices, and managing by objectives, believing this is the path to create unique, innovative, and world-class products.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
This book outlines a different approach. Putting people at the center of our work not only improves today’s performance but creates the foundation for ongoing innovation and renewal. It restores communication, respect, and enthusiasm between customers, suppliers, and employees. It eliminates waste and the need for firefighting.
As you read these pages, some ideas will seem impossible. “We could never do that here”, you’ll think to yourself — and you’ll be right! Using our current thinking and beliefs, we would be unable to adopt some of these ideas. Within our currently-structured way of doing business, attempts at wholesale change would be blocked.
However, refocusing the organisation from product to culture requires wholesale changes. Those changes begin in ourselves.
So don’t dismiss the craziest ideas, as they may ultimately prove most valuable. Instead think deeply, searching through our current practices to identify how we compensate. Then consider all of the costs imposed on our people, suppliers, and customers as a result.
That is the real challenge to readers of this book — to consider these ideas as a wholly different way of working, rather than an à la carte menu of possibilities. If you can do that, you may have what it takes to be a leader in your company’s transformation.
And if you do, jump at the chance! It will likely be the most rewarding time of your career.
Philip Crosby Associates