The differences between the revisions of standard ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 9001:2015 do not begin and end with process-orientation and risk management.
The old chapter 5, from the 2008 revision, was called Management Responsibility. In the new, 2015, revision it has been separated in two, and the part which remains in chapter 5 has now received a new overall chapter title: Leadership. This change is what I would like to address here now. (more…)
Today I shall tell you another story about the Wise Men of Helem and solutions to problems. I know this one in Russian, beautifully translated from Yiddish, in which it was written by Ovsey Driz, a wonderful Russian Jewish poet and writer, as part of a cycle “The bead bookmark”. This poem-story is called “Helem traditions” (my own loose translation):
From times immemorial there were mice in Helem.
Not one, not two, not a thousand – but, perhaps, a million.
A short while ago we have celebrated Hanukkah, and at the party in my son’s school a few girls have staged and performed the old and well-loved song by Hava Frankel (lyrics) and Dvora Havkin (music), Hanna Zelda. To my delight, I have discovered a rather charming translation of this humorous song and bring it here (taken from ETNI website; translators’ names given as Ayala, Tanya, Menachem):
Oh Hanna Zelda, my beloved wife,
The Feast of Hanukka has come and arrived,
And at Hanukka, my soul really aches,
For to eat some sweet potato cakes.
In the army they taught us that jumping the chain of command is against military law. Breaking this law would lead to being prosecuted for undermining authority, and to rather unpleasant results. For the perpetrator.
Today we are no longer in the army, and no-one will prosecute us for jumping the chain of command.
However, I would like to bring to the discussion table a totally different view of said chain of command and the correct way to use it.
It is customary to think that running from responsibility is human nature. That people are willing to do no more than the barest minimum, that they are lazy and do not like their peace disturbed, and would prefer doing nothing over taking any sort of initiative. In Israel we have a phrase coined for it: a “small head”.
Naturally, it is customary to accompany this observation by a small side step, to exclude the freaks of nature among us, the suckers, those who actually like to “enlarge their heads”.
Many, way too many people think that the purpose of Quality Assurance is… like policemen: to stop “offences”’ “failures” and “problems” from occurring. And if they or some of them still insist on occurring – well, to “catch” those responsible and make sure they do it no more.