The discussed point is the seventh principle proposed by Dr. Deming that implies instituting leadership. The expert offers his vision of leadership that is aimed at creating a favorable environment within which employees will be able to show the maximum of their productivity potential. Several distinguishing features make Dr. Deming’s interpretation of leadership unique and individual. First and foremost, he points out that a good leader is mainly a colleague and counselor rather than a supervisor. Second, an employee is supposed to have a profound understanding of the job to make a good leader. Otherwise, he or she will not be able to ensure continual outcome improvement. Additionally, leaders, according to Dr. Deming, should strive to encourage the feeling of work-related pride in employees.
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In other words, he puts a particular emphasis on the need for maintaining high job commitment and a positive attitude to the organization. Finally, Dr. Deming warns leaders against focusing on individual performance; instead, he suggests trying to concentrate on overall systems and their productivity. The latter recommendation implies the idea that low productivity or workforce’s inefficacy cannot be determined by an individual factor – they normally signify the flaws in the functional structure of the entire system. Dr. Deming proposes several alternative solutions to accomplish the aim of instituting leadership. Hence, he suggests that organizations ensure effective leaders’ training in the course of which they learn to focus on continual improvement of the workplace environment and performance outcomes instead of concentrating on specific issues.
Evaluating the extent to which the discussed principle is implemented in Costco, it can be assumed that the company has successfully integrated some of its aspects, whereas others have been neglected. Hence, for instance, the leaders’ awareness of the job they supervise is high. Additionally, Costco’s leaders exercise a counseling approach to management so that they can be characterized as councilors rather than supervisors. From this perspective, Dr. Deming’s principle is widely applied to Costco’s managerial practice. In the meantime, little effort is made to develop a feeling of pride in employees. Thus, the latter are more likely to feel the pride in their achievements and progress rather than that in the organization and its values. Moreover, the principle of a “big picture” is likewise neglected. Hence, in case the productivity rate falls, leaders are more likely to search for the cause among particular employees instead of considering the efficiency of the entire system.
It is proposed that further implementation of the discussed principle will help Costco to improve its leadership institute that will, in its turn, lead to the overall productivity enhancement. In other words, the adoption of this principle will allow for a shift to an alternative leadership focus – instead of concentrating on particular employees and their performance, leaders will reconsider the way the workflow is organized. As soon as continual improvement becomes the major leaders’ target, their managerial approaches will reshape more effectively. Leaders will, therefore, develop a better understanding of the operational processes, while employees will receive a chance to share their views on potential ways of outcome improvement. From a long-term perspective, a closer collaboration between leaders and managers will help to create a healthier workplace environment, within which both leaders and employees have a shared feeling of responsibility and a consolidated vision of corporate values.