The reason for your joining this blog may have something to do with your desire to be a part of the transformation from toxic to terrific. We agreed that lasting and meaningful continual improvement in our workplace, business or personal life begins with each of us, so we need to learn to adopt a more positive personal outlook which accepts full responsibility for all of our actions and how they affect others.
Visualize our life as series of interrelated steps where the connections may not always be as noticeable upfront but nevertheless always make more sense later. The same is true in the workplace, only with even more pronounced and often more immediate cause-and-effect relationships. Every step we take, every process we make happen absolutely always impacts all the consequent processes – some more directly, some less, but the causal relationships between all of the parts of the system are always there. In systems thinking the output of one process is by default the input of the next process. For a simple example, if you are looking to fill a certain job opening in your company, you have to begin the process by defining clearly what this position requires. Without the clarity on what knowledge, skills, abilities and, even more importantly, personal characteristics you are looking for, you are more likely to get questionable results from the hiring process.
Having originated in the field of computer science, the term Garbage in, Garbage out (GIGO), made its way basically to all other fields, describing the mentality behind poor or mediocre performance and becoming the culprit for many of workplace inefficiencies and nonconformities. To me, there has always been something hopeless and helpless about this term: by placing the blame on your predecessor (garbage in), we basically claim ourselves as the victim of the circumstances with no chance at all to produce anything quality. (By the way, Garbage In, Gospel Out model does not exist). If you ask any informed Quality auditor what the definition of insanity is, they will confirm for you that it’s doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So, by continually feeding the process poor quality or unclear input, we cannot possibly expect to receive excellent results unless of course we are ready to give up the privilege of claiming ourselves sane.
To break out of the vicious circle, I suggest that today as a part of our enlightened journey, we make a little commitment to ourselves. The commitment will be to once and for good abandon the tired GIGO concept and replace it in our minds, our vocabulary and our actions with a more powerful model: Quality In, Quality Out. While QIQO, like its more pessimistic distant cousin GIGO, also raises the point that the value of the input will normally impact if not dictate the value of the output, what is drastically different about it is the shift towards taking full responsibility for the quality and value of one’s inputs. By continually remaining aware of the needs of those who rely on our input for producing their output, and by making a conscious effort to each and every time stand behind the quality of what comes out of our hands or our computers, we all share the accountability for the final outcome of the process. This very mentality will help keeping up the chain reaction of only win-win scenarios taking place in the future, thus fostering the environment for developing only empowered and accountable individuals.
Quality In, Quality Out is the title of my upcoming book which I am very excited to share with you about.