How to Make the Marriage between Digitization and Quality Management (QM) Finally Work

DIGITIZATION, INNOVATION and QM are buzzwords in business but are not yet fused into ONE. They mostly seem like boat riders rowing in different directions. Here are 4 thoughts to change that and make QM more appealing (see also Blog #01) thus adding value using the POST-technique introduced in Blog #02

# People: The right people on the right bus – driven by self-management and agility

  • Reward performance and results and not presence or mere compliance
  • Allow room for errors, learn from them and share knowledge and findings
  • Everyone knows his role; no one is afraid to take responsibility

# Organization: Digital/IT, Innovation and QM–teams work together

  • The goal is one: creating value for your company. Creativity does nor replace standard and vice versa
  • Synergize/maximize potentials, the 3 are not parallel projects. Training/ awareness facilitates the process
  • Use of digital technologies and agile methods are part of QM and vice versa. Transparency plays a role

# Substitution: Stop digitizing documents “as is” in the name of improvement

  • First, do away with unnecessary processes / process steps
  • Question the process steps before supporting your processes technically / digitally
  • Put effectiveness always before efficiency

# Technology: Use the right digital methods and technical tools for your needs

  • Technology per se does not make more business, maximizing output does
  • Your infrastructure and end devices facilitate your projects
  • Artificial intelligence gives us the right answers, we ask the right questions

Blog inspired by ERP-Camp on April 18, in St Gallen, Swiss Quality Day on May 30, Bern and by R. Schellenberger

Printable version: 10_MarriageBetweenDigitizationAndQualityManagement_2018-05-31

Management by the “Third Alternative”

Are you compromising or looking for a third alternative, a way other than just your way or my way — a better way?

Conflicts are bound to happen. In all sorts of organizations: homes, businesses, and countries. This principle of Steven Covey is simple but with profound results.

What is the third alternative?

The third alternative in this blog refers to S. Coveys definition: It is not my way, not your way but our way, a better way. The third alternative is the skill to solve differences and conflicts synergistically (see S. Covey, the 8th Habit, Chapter 10)

It is all about 1 + 1>2. It is all about stakeholder management and team building to produce better results. Third alternative is not a compromise. In compromising at least one of us loses. Third alternative is a clear win-win thinking. It is striving for a better way for the sake of a better organization, country, home, school etc. Extreme cases where everyone would wish this is on environmentalists or extreme left or right in politics. In the business or our modern world, since we are “civilized” we do not fight physically but we engage in bad-mouthing, resign inwardly or use other methods to show our positions.

Third alternative can also just mean understanding the position of one another before coming to an agreement. The initial intention might have been misunderstood hence the hard-line stance of both parties. The third alternative foundation is seeking to understand each other.

How do we now manage by third alternative?

Seek for the third alternative consciously if a lot of resources and energy is wasted in finding a solution. This can be on a personal level, on organizational levels, team levels, countries levels, schools level or even parents/children level.

In the previous blogs, we already talked about right people in the right positions to ensure meeting stakeholder expectations. This blog digs deeper and puts people’s mindset central: in search for the third alternative.

Sooner or later there will be a kind of conflict among stakeholders. The third alternative is what you forge out of your differing opinions for the benefit of both. Having in mind that there is always a third alternative gives us power. We live in a world of codependency. Synergizing is the target, not leaning towards one side. Leaning towards one side is deemed to fail. Here are some examples in our daily business:

Employees and their leaders: the leadership or management style might not suit us. Be it between middle and top management or an employee with his/her boss. The organization must act as a team, know the quality goals before showing this to the external stakeholders. Conflicts arising can be valuable: but only if we look for the third alternative, not that “you come in with your opinion, you go out with mine”. It is not my way, your way, but a third better way to move the organization forward. It is not about an employee or his boss being right but about the organization producing better results. 

Business partners: How many hours do we spend trying to iron out differences we have about contract details in order to push our agendas? How often are we willing to look for a solution that is better than both of us suggest? Looking for the third alternative together involves each party understanding each other to generate a solution for both. If we short change suppliers for some short-term benefit then other problems are bound to arise anyway. Note again that management by the third alternative is not compromising. It is a chance for something greater. The third alternative makes us make better and stronger relationships and improve trust to win together.

Acquisitions/mergers, clash of cultures: There is always a big opportunity when companies merge and two cultures come together. The process is not natural. With people and culture, there is no quick and easy fix. Successfully working together has to be learned; it takes time, persistency and patience to transform dependency into interdependency. Mostly it is not seen as an opportunity but rather your way and my way. Only a few are able to see the opportunity and spread a positive influence across the organization. Most have a win-lose thinking. Change management, getting together to work on a solution geared towards seeing the company move forward, setting common targets are just a few tools that help us come to a common understanding and identify a better way, the third alternative.

What’s now the role of the leaders in an organization?

Leaders are there to see conflict as an opportunity, not as me against you or us against them. There are there to align structures and systems with values like seeking to understand each and every employee. Leaders enable and empower us to take responsibility, even being self-critical in the search for the third alternative. The third alternative will ask whether the right person is at the right place to find our way, not yours and not mine.

Our way means shared responsibility. From there each party takes responsibility of his actions and decisions and works towards achieving something higher.

It is common knowledge that when people know they are not working against one another but with each other they create room for better ideas. Emotions are used positively, not negatively.

Leaders see conflicts as an opportunity and seek for a better solution. Leaders create an environment that enable people enlarge their area of and increase voice of influence. An environment where the 5 emotional cancer types have no chance: (see S. Covey, The 8th Habit, Chapter 7):

    1. Criticizing
    2. Complaining
    3. Comparing (counter productively, not in the sense of benchmark)
    4. Competing (the damaging part of it – not the healthy part of it)
    5. Contending

In a nutshell:

Alternative thinking involves basically two steps (not necessarily in this sequence):

  1. Searching for a solution that is better than what either of us has proposed (successful teams do this).
  2. Making your point only after fully understanding your partner’s point to his/her satisfaction

Win-win and synergizing is not compromise. It has to be a better solution: both parties must fully be aware of it. Not both parties might be thinking win-win from the start. It could be that only one does and convinces the other one to think differently.

This sense of thinking can be practiced at home, with friends, with colleagues, when representing institutions or business partners. A simple question always helps: are you ready to search for a better solution, better than what each of us have proposed?

Printable version: 9_QMbytheThirdAlternative_2018-04-30

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Meeting the Common QM-Requirements: Why it is Not a Case of Re-inventing the Wheel

Meeting the common QM-requirements: not a case of re-inventing the Wheel, by VALUEADDITION

Certification and accreditation projects are strategic decisions. The standard according to which you are certified or accredited is determined by the relevant stakeholders: authorities, customers, competitors, market and technical trends, etc.

Criticism of ISO 9001 for instance comes from those who do not understand the value and impact on the organization and from those who misinterpret and confuse it with mere paperwork. See also Blog-Article# 1: Paradigm Change in QM

Here is a list of main requirements of the two common standards in the certification and accreditation world (ISO 9001 an ISO/IEC 17025) with key points. This list highlights the value for yourself and your customer so that the act of getting the certificate does not look like an end in itself but somethings that achieves a greater purpose.

Standard Requirement:

Key Points

Examples of instruments you may have anyway Value to you and to your customer
1.      Impartiality and confidentiality:
The organization to be structured in a way that quality results cannot be influenced by management or major customers or other interested parties. Laboratories / QMs should be independent in their activities. Objectivity is evident.
a)   Declaration of independency and confidentiality

b)   Compliance trainings/personnel regulation addressing gifts and other factors that may influence results

No company can earn trust if it is influenceable and if it does not treat customers data and information confidentially.

Your value: trusting the results, creating trust between yourself and your stakeholders

2.      Structural requirement / Leadership


a)     Legal entity with defined levels of competency and authorizations

b)     Organizational structure

Responsibility ownership within an organization. Customers trust a company with long term commitment
3.      Resources requirements:
Addressing availability of the personnel, facilities, equipment, systems and support services necessary to manage and perform its laboratory activities.  
a)   Personnel planning / shift plan, Skills matrix / talent

b)   Competence records / Trainings / certifications

c)   Investment / maintenance plans of machines

d)   IT / ERP facilities

Planning resources well is in the first place in the interest of the company to avoid failure to deliver or respond to peak times or in the event of succession planning. Your customer wants to rely on your delivery terms and on your know-how. Knowledge only creates value if applied.
4.      Process requirements
Having process steps and all necessary requirement to deliver required output and also handle items (in your organization or customers items). Addressing verification and validation of processes as well as sampling methods and technical records
a)   Feasibility study / contract review /order confirmation

b)   Technical requirements / records

c)   Reporting results of measurements or analysis/statement of conformities

d)   Using reference materials

e)   Interlaboratory comparisons or other than proficiency testing

Stability and reproducibility, reducing costs of starting processes again and again. Setting up systems that favor process reliability.

A customer feels taken seriously if reproducibility and traceability is evident and the process he is ready to pay for is under control, independent of the source (internal or external).

5.      Complains and non-conforming works: addressing handling of non-conformities, corrective and preventive actions


a)       Reporting systems / channels

b)      Feedback systems / channels

c)       Allocation of people dealing with customers’ complaints / non-conformities

No one and no organization is perfect. No customer expects us to be perfect but at least to address non-conformities and complaints systematically and learn from them. We take addressing root causes as opportunities to improve and motivate employees not to hide failures. Customer on the other hand will trust that we care about them and that cost of poor quality are as minimum as possible.
6.       Control of documents and records


a)       ERP Systems with DMS, Intranet, document editor

b)      Clear naming of files

c)       Defining access rights / authorization levels

Critical specifications may need 4 eye principles. Control of changes and knowledge sharing is ensured. The customer on the other hand trusts that specifications are under control and are understood.
7.      Internal audits: identifying risks and areas of improvement in the processes or products early enough a)       Experts in the company that can do the audits

b)      Goals of an audit, depending on review results

c)       Internal benchmarks

Whether we conform to own requirements or customer requirements is in our own interest. Systematic issues are identified early. Continuous improvement and learning from one another are enhanced. New customer requirements are addressed early.
8.      Management-Review:
at the end an organization will answer the question: is my organization / management system appropriate and effective?
a)   Management meetings (monthly, quarterly, yearly)

b)   Quality meetings

c)   Cross-organizational reviews

d)   Reporting plans from management level

Performance indicators, goals, new issues are addressed and followed up. Top management is able to get facts and data for better decision making and taking action in time. Priorities are set to enhance sales.
9.      Addressing risks and opportunities: considering risks and chances arising from an organization’s environment and those that are associated with its activities a)   SWOT analysis

b)   Risk management / insurances

c)   Strategy reviews

d)   Management reviews

To ensure the organization achieves intended results and to prevent undesired outcomes.

Both the organization and customer gain from this.

10.    Context of the organization / stakeholder management: determine scope, internal and external topics that are relevant to the organization’s purpose, identifying stakeholders’ relevant requirements a)   Stakeholder management on project, process or company level

b)   Trends / expectations that affect strategies

c)   SWOT analysis

Seeking dialog with customers and other relevant stakeholders enhance trust and sales: see Blog-Article#4: A fresh look at Stakeholder Management

To sum it up:

It is not a case of re-inventing the wheel. Many key points are already evident in existing companies. When starting a certification or an accreditation a project, avoid parallel systems, use available knowledge and templates on the internet. Use systems and tools you have already, give it structure, meaning and consistency. Communicate, train and continue working on that. Remember knowledge only creates value if applied. These projects in the first place should create value for the company. If we fail to see this then we should not proceed in allocating resources to them.

Let us not confuse doing extra paper work with meeting new requirements in the event of standards revision. Instead, review what we have been doing and work only on necessary changes. Remember interpreting the standards well is the first step to an effective management system. Done in the right way, the management system guarantees long term benefits.

Long term benefit for the company include:

  • More deals (some companies / authorities only give contracts to accredited / certified companies)
  • International recognition and acceptance
  • Continuous improvement of your competence and quality
  • Cost saving: creating documents, validation methods, processes only once. And these can be applied by all

The top VALUE to our customer is TRUST and thus more sales. They trust that everything is under control and our system is being continuously improved. A long-term relationship is ensured with such a system.

Printable version: 8_MeetingRequirementsWithoutRe-inventingTheWheel_2018-03-31

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NOT TO DO LIST might be more important than TO DO LIST

We all know the benefits of TO DO List but only if applied well. We use this working tool to prioritize or if in a team, to define responsible persons and track work progress.


But have you ever thought of putting down those things that we are not going to do anymore? A Stop-Doing-List, for yourself or for your team? VALUE ADDITION shares with you this NOT TO DO LIST.

NOT TO DO LIST: Shift from To
1.      Following a new technology blindly


Adopting a new technology is not a guarantee for success. Respond wisely to new technology to turn potential into reality, e.g., increased customer adoption and value
2.      Micro-managing people by defining for them how to do their job


Lead people and tell them what to do, and not how. The right people will know how to do their work
3.      Listening to “victim mentality” people, those who fail to take responsibility and are quick to blame others Reward sense of responsibility and ownership
4.      Paper work in the name of quality management Use all technical advancement or devices to minimize records required. Concentrate on valuable contents like defining tools, responsibility etc. Avoid collecting signatures, printing and scanning where not necessary
5.      Planning every single minute


Leave room to take advantage of opportunities and for rest so that we are not overworked and “burned out”. Be offline for a while or show stakeholder that you have time for them instead of running from a meeting to another
6.      Confusing being busy with producing results


Always ask before accepting a task or before initiating a measure whether the work is going to produce tangible benefits
7.      Confusing efficiency and effectiveness
Cleaning the floor using a toothbrush can be effective, but not efficient. “Bloodletting” in a more efficient way does not make it a preferred therapy
First do the right things, then do them right (faster). Effectiveness is far much more important. Effectiveness comes before efficiency
8.      Defining performance indicators just for the sake of having them. Imitating the common ones which have no impact to my business Define those that have greatest impact on my business. Profit per Key Account might be better than profit per region. Profit per employee might have more impact to capacity utilization than just per product or business line

Printable Version: 7_OppositOfToDoList_2018-02-28

Dear reader, how does your “NOT TO DO LIST” look like?

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Supplier Audit: Do It Well or Not at All

Do you have your yearly planning already for 2018? And supplier audits are part of it? Well, read this before you make unnecessary visits.

But first, just to be on the same page: What are supplier audits and what are they for?

Supplier Audit: Do It Well or Not at All

A supplier audit, also known as a 2nd party audit, is an instrument applied to develop business partners in the supply chain and ensure processes and products comply with customers’ requirements. This can be conducted for initial supplier qualification or regularly to monitor supplier performance. Additional ones can be necessary in case there is a change in the process, material, product specification, performance or even in the ownership or location of supplier. The main aim is to minimize risks, strengthen the partnership and maintain quality and delivery performance.

It sounds good, right? Why is this an issue in practice?

It is my contention that many customers do not keep the end in mind and that we could do away with 80% planned audits without compromising on quality delivered.

If your requirements as a customer coincide with or are even less than those of the common standards then determine your criteria, e.g. that you accept suppliers already audited and certified/accredited by an independent organization. The common standards are there to make business easier. If nonetheless you insist on unjustified auditing, you are wasting time and money. If the supplier is not certified you may align with the common standard and audit accordingly, but make sure you are trained on how to interpret the applicable standard. A no go is auditing according to an already replaced standard, like ISO 9001:2008, while the supplier is already certified according to ISO 9001:2015. If the supplier performance is acceptable and the supplier is financing all these external audits, an acknowledgment instead of various visits will do more to your business relationship.

More specific audits are definitely justified in case of more demanding and complex requirements (e.g. on critical parts, in the nuclear, medicine, chemical or automobile industry). In this case, make this a clear process in your organization and make the goals clear to the supplier as well.

In your process, you may define that exchange of documents is sufficient to get evidence that the supplier’s process are under control. This might sound less time consuming than a small visit. On a closer look at the paperwork and number of people involved, this can be unappealing as well. Here is a simple calculation: send 10 forms to 10 different suppliers, with 50% of obsolete questions in the form e.g. “give your URL-address”. In this assumption, you involve at least 2 people in both organizations. Say each has an internal hourly rate of 100 Euro (just to make calculation simple) and each taking 1 hour handling one form with 10 pages (creating, sending, filling in, collecting back), then we would waste a total of Euro 2,000. Dear customer, should you be surprised when your costs increase the following year?

What about the standards?

ISO 9001 and the ISO/IEC 170XX all talk about knowing your area of influence and having relevant supplier processes under control. This can be done also without supplier audits and without unnecessary supplier questionnaires. With Google and information flow nowadays, 80 % of the information required is already public and do not add quality.

All in name of quality management

Whether it is a visit or questionnaire, it should not be used to serve your own selfish ends and job creation purposes nor as an “audit-tourism”.

Many customers tend to justify their forms and audits by citing the norm in the introduction part. I would like to mention here again: the common standards do not say “how”, they just say “what”. Imagine the paperwork at your site, your supplier’s site and they continue to give this further and so on. Who is going to pay for it? Where is the lean management approach in supplier audit processes? This has nothing to do with quality management.

I once learned as a young and green quality manager, happy inheriting the paperwork, asking about the “critical” suppliers without checking when we last ordered from them. One of my contact persons at the supplier’s site asked: “Why should I leave customers who pay unattended just to do your paperwork which goes unpaid?” I did my homework, learned not to initiate any action without asking why. “Because the norm requires” is not satisfactory. It is all about interpreting the standard well and adding value with all measures put in place.

A vital criterion is therefore dealing only with active suppliers. If you have not ordered in the last one year for instance, then be fair. In case you say you need a standby supplier, then pay for their time.

If supplier on standby, pay your supplier for the hours occupied

Depending on the determined scope of quality management, the suppliers can be part of a regular program and monitored. In case of equipment failure or breakdown at own production site for instance, you have a plan B. However, clear communication and agreement, preferably in written form, should be in place so that independent of who is representing both parties (supplier and customer) this can be reviewed more efficiently. And it is just fair enough to pay the supplier for the time allocated for standby.

To summarize: always ensure a supplier audit is justified, not forgetting to consider the hidden costs on both sides. Here is a short guideline:

  • Always understand and communicate the purpose of the audit. It should add value to both parties
  • Define your critical suppliers and define qualifying and performance criteria other than setting up a lot of paperwork and audits. I am sure 80% of the planned supplier audits are unnecessary.
  • In case of qualification audits, let the supplier know the outcome in good time: approved or not? If approved, are orders expected soon?
  • Involve the management. If for example price plays the most important role for your top management and the bargaining power of procurements team is being rewarded, then checking on quality aspects by the Quality Manager will hardly make a difference. On the supplier’s side, keep in mind that quality management is a management issue. If you do not get quality commitment from the top management then the audit visits will hardly bear fruit.
  • Internal communication is vital. There is nothing as frustrating for suppliers as the quality manager not involving procurement or vice versa on the customer’s side.
  • It is not about creating jobs and “audit-tourism”. Whoever is pursuing his own interests or that of a few is the wrong one for supplier audits
  • If auditing suppliers serves as making sure supply is constant in case of a breakdown then pay the standby supplier for the time invested.
  • Keep the number of auditors low. More than 2 people are always just a burden for the supplier and waste of resources on the customer’s part. Depending on complexity and expertise required, determine the right team size.
  • Respond to major complaints. This is a real learning effect for all involved at supplier site on the critical process. Use this as a follow-up in case of a systematic error. The supplier will appreciate
  • Trust the independent certification and accreditation organizations and work on your time to market instead. Acknowledge and appreciate the various accreditation, certifications and approvals audits your supplier has already invested in. In so doing you will have more time on your hands to increase your profit margins and innovate.
  • Last but not least, make sure you are a trained auditor and understand your role.

If anything, there are nowadays more risks on customer’s side (loss on receivables, payment terms conditions of up to 120 days) than on supplier’s sides. Right?

Printable version: 6_SupplierAudits_DoItWellOrNotAtAll_2018-01-31

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Top 3 New Year’s Resolutions for a Successful 2018

Resolution #1: More decisions than discussions

  • We are in an era where we spend more time planning, analyzing, discussing and waiting for approval instead of making decisions faster and addressing resources
  • Making decisions brings us closer to resolutions than discussions. When we take action, we achieve results or findings earlier
  • This can only work if we take responsibility of our decisions consistently
  • VALUE ADDITION recommends empowering others to take responsibility of their actions to speed up decision process

Resolution #2: Do away with those who are not achieving

  • “The only way to deliver to the people who are achieving is NOT to burden them with those who are not achieving” (Collins, Good to Great, 2001, pg. 53)
  • We need to say NO to those who pull us down – regardless of team set up (internal/external)
  • Changing the view from: Employee perse are the most important assets, to THE RIGHT ONES are the most important assets
  • VALUE ADDITION emphasizes on management by POST and STOP – getting the right people first on the boat (see  also Blog #2 by VALUE ADDITION)

Resolution #3: Celebrate success and renew yourself

  • Reflecting and setting new goals confirms our urge for continuous improvement, but taking time to celebrate success and giving oneself a treat is a MUST as well for the next goals
  • VALUE ADDITION suggests integrating time to refuel and sharpen the saw in the “Demming Circle PLAN DO CHECK ACT (PDCA)” – at all levels and more regularly

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Printable Version: TOP3NEWYearResolutionbyVALUEADDITION_2017-12-31

A Fresh Look at Stakeholder Management: 7 Pitfalls to Avoid

Stakeholder Management: 7 Pitfalls to Avoid
Value Addition – A Fresh Look at Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder management is not something new and can be traced back up to 19301.

The revision of ISO 9001: 2015 stresses that considering relevant expectations and requirements of stakeholders is a key element to success. This approach goes further than the mere check of customer requirements.

Who is a stakeholder?

According to ISO 9000:2015, chapter 3.2.3, a stakeholder is an interested party. This can be a person or organization that can affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision or activity.

The complexity of implementing this approach depends on type of the project or organization. A simple project in an organization meant to improve efficiency has less demanding and challenging stakeholders than building or public infrastructure-related projects, where probably the consent of the folk (people referendum) is an issue. Global companies with suppliers from all over the world have more sustainability and image issues than local companies.

Worth mentioning about ISO 9001 is that requirement addresses only relevant stakeholders (not potential ones), with relevant requirements to the quality management system or organization. This makes sense in that we have to consider the chances and risks coming along with this and act accordingly to meet company goals.

Just as in the same way the customer defines quality2, it is important to also note that requirements and expectations are defined by the stakeholders; it is not just based on assumptions or “copy paste” from other companies or projects. Then we decide which ones are relevant.

These expectations, as well as the teams or individuals involved do change from time to time, therefore monitoring of the requirements is essential. The evidence of actions taken out of this review is logically necessary.


This blog will state 7 points where we need a paradigm change in „stakeholder management”

From… To…

1.   Stakeholder management or paper evidence of listing potential stakeholders which has no added value.


What really brings sustainability and value is relationship management. Building trust with the few right people / parties is the key. In doing so, we avoid nurturing relationships with no win-wins.
2.   Serving only stakeholders at the cost of forgetting own goals… Keeping the end in mind: project managers and responsible persons for stakeholders should not forget their requirements and expectations as well.

It takes courage to set time and be offline for some hours or a day so that things get done.

If meeting stakeholders’ expectations adds no value to the project or organization, why then should we try fulfilling them?

3.   When defining internal stakeholders, we consider employees, managers and owners separately. What if their expectations and requirements do not go hand in hand with company strategies and goals? A company consists of all the three parties hence company expectations should not be neglected.

The internal stakeholders come together to identify their requirements as a team and monitor the external requirements

4.   Managing stakeholders… Managing their requirements and expectations, not stakeholders themselves. This means also not giving empty promises. Otherwise we will end up always reacting and not being proactive.

Managing expectations and requirements of stakeholders means first understanding my roles and objectives as project manager or head of organization, then check relevant requirements of stakeholders that align, and those that have conflict of interest and seek dialog based on the outcome. Apart from that, there are always individuals behind the group of stakeholders. People cannot be managed. Leadership makes more sense.

5.   “Dear stakeholder, I have identified you as relevant but I do not have time for you” Set time to meet and learn to understand relevant expectations of each relevant party.
6.   Assuming to know all requirements and expectations of stakeholders Seeking dialog with relevant stakeholders rather than documenting what we assume. Giving feedback to and getting feedback from stakeholders when necessary makes this an integrated process.
7.   That’s the duty of the manager… As with quality2 stakeholder management cannot be one person’s job. Everyone has a responsibility to identify and manage the needs and expectations of relevant stakeholders at his/her level with relevant requirements. This requires understanding one’s own expectations and goals of the project, process or company.

What about the emotional bank account?

This is managing and clarifying expectations and includes the awareness that we can as well make withdrawals, and at the end the balance matters, not only to one side of the account, but both. To achieve a well-balanced account, we need to constantly seek dialog and set review dates or meetings with colleagues and time together with family.

To conclude:

Managing requirements and expectations of stakeholders is more of common sense, requires the natural ability to seek dialog and cultivate the right relationships, rather than an academic subject or science.

It is about adding value. This requires conversations and not assumptions. It is about stakeholder engagement and timely involvement in a process or project, not “managing the parties in a table well kept”.

If you would contrast your stakeholder management model with that of your identified stakeholder, will the listed expectations be reflected?

2Value addition blog #1:

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7 habits we lost as kids and pay now to learn them again

How many times do we ask ourselves why we unlearned some habits; habits we now pay dearly for; either because they are missing or we are “forced” to re-learn them in order to move in the organizations? This blog does not analyze why but just states them as a motivation for you dear reader. Feel free to analyze and comment.

As a child What most of us now invest in / re-learn
Asking the Whys: Kids are curious and want to understand the cause of a problem or reasons for doing something, hence ask a “lot” of “whys” in the eyes of adults – until they are told “now it is enough”. 5 Why’s techniques: a popular simple analysis tool to get to the root cause of a problem rather than just solving the problem symptom in the quality management.

It can also be used to ask the value added in initiating a measure.

Trust: Kids trust parents, teachers and friends – until we disappoint them. Trust is the key word for effectiveness and for things to move fast. We now learn it more expensively. See also “The Speed of Trust” by Stephen M. R. Covey. Many activities are geared towards cultivating culture of trust re-gaining trust, be it towards employees or share holders. Stake holder management is now inevitable.
Paying close attention: It is rare to find a kid that does not draw and share this with the parents. When a kid draws and writes “for Mama” it tells us a lot and we feel understood and paid attention to. How many of us pay attention to our employees and seek to understand them? Stephen Covey’s 5th habit covers this in a pragmatic way. See also


Proactive: Kids are not passive, from birth, they know what they want, and they take action and do not wait to be told to move – until they get punished for trying to help. We now learn to work on our areas of our influence, to stop being victims and take responsibility of our actions. Few of us are proactive. Lack of proactive employees cost an organization a lot of time; in that we have to describe the “how to do something” rather than just to delegate “what”.
Creativity and full of fantasy We always hear such comments “be creative”. But can you do that by command? We failed to take this character with us. Can it be recovered?
Time to play and do something fulfilling. In the first 4 years at school, kids create time to play, for friends in such naturalness. In this stressful business world, time for ourselves, for hobbies, for recreation and sharpening the saw has to be learned again.
Telling their mind, sharing, open: kids share their story of the day and their feelings – till they partly learn that some are not accepted in the society. Studies have shown than suppressing feelings goes hand in hand with depression and failure to address conflicts. It now becomes expensive to learn to talk about our feelings or treat “depression“.