To Be the Best it’s Essential to Learn from the Best
Excellence is not achieved by focusing internally. Certainly, your quality culture and processes need to be constantly under review, but to be the best you can possibly be you need to look outward.
You must dare yourself to look beyond your current horizons and be prepared to challenge everything that you currently call good practice. To break free of current norms and expectations you must draw inspiration and ideas from genuine experts and from other industries.
This is the philosophy that led Osborne to join the British Quality Foundation (BQF). In case you don’t know, BQF is the premier, membership driven body representing excellence and performance improvement in the UK.
By being part of BQF we benefit from access to knowledge, tools, and techniques that inform, enrich and enhance performance improvement across our businesses.
Through BQF we also became engaged with renowned author and speaker Matthew Syed. The relationship arose from a BQF event ‘An evening with Matthew Syed’ that we used as an opportunity for our Operations Board to have a shared experience.
Since then Matthew has provided keynote addresses to our Leadership Conferences in 2016 and 2017. This has inspired us to develop a ‘growth mindset’ perspective within our leadership team; focusing more on gathering data to inform decision making and embedding techniques to identify and implement marginal gains across our businesses.
We’ve also learned to apply Matthew’s Black Box Thinking concepts within our learning culture, where energy goes into learning from mistakes rather than apportioning or shifting blame.
The Broader Perspective
BQF membership is drawn from across UK industry. We can compare our experiences and performance with other companies in the construction sector and, most importantly, beyond.
This broader vision gives us an insight into how some of our customers and companies like them operate, what they expect and what they value. Understanding their needs implicitly, as well as their explicitly stated requirements helps us to work out how we can really add value to their business.
Seeing how other organisations and other industries operate, how they measure quality and the performance standards they expect has helped us to challenge our own approach.
At a very practical level, the tools, techniques and knowledge base of the BQF support the development of our people, at both an individual and team level.
BQF is a strong brand. We greatly value our association with it and it is having a significant impact on our broader strategy of performance improvement and innovation.