May 5, 2011

World Without Badges

What happens if US Navy SEALS are ISO9001 certified? Well, this might sound ridiculous, but several police stations in India are certified…not that these two organizations are comparable (far from it). But if they were, SEALS would have definitely asked OBL for his ID and a succession plan before shooting him in the head. Thank god, SEALS don’t carry ISO badge. But that's how Indian police would approach. ISO certification actually gave them something to do for the police - engage some consultant to do some paper work to get another on the wall. There are other, more important things police in India are supposed to do, we all are aware, they are most ineffective in doing that...that is public knowledge too. The ISO badges are just an unpleasant distraction.

But matter of interest is how having or not having ISO badge makes a difference.
What would Quality function be like if they are barred from getting certified for any standard or maturity model (ISO, CMMI)…I think they will start thinking as to how else they can stay in their jobs, how they can convince business heads about ROI of having top-heavy organization with elaborate hierarchy. I think they can do a damn good job evolving from ‘document pushers’ to ‘game changers', and that's what matters most…like Sun Zu said in The Art of War:

Confront them with annihilation, and they will then survive; plunge them into a deadly situation, and they will then live. When people fall into danger, they are then able to strive for victory.

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