Steps in Managing the Transition

In summary, first assess preconditions and the current state of the organization to make sure that the need for change is clear and that TQM is an appropriate strategy. Leadership styles and organizational culture must be congruent with TQM. If they are not, this should be worked on, or TQM implementation should be avoided or delayed until favorable conditions exist.

Remember that this will be a difficult, comprehensive, and long-term process. Leaders will need to maintain their commitment, keep the process visible, provide necessary support, and hold people accountable for results. Use input from stakeholders (clients, referring agencies, funding sources, etc.) as much possible, and of course, maximize employee involvement in design of the system.

Always keep in mind that TQM should be purpose driven. Be clear on the organization's vision for the future and stay focused on it. TQM can be a powerful technique for unleashing employee creativity and potential, reducing bureaucracy and costs, and improving service to clients and the community.

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