Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving, Family and Quality

Thanksgiving is a day for family time, and the beginning of the family season, and so it is unfortunate that it is also a time to become aware of discomfort.  Today we learned of the death of David Crosby last week. 

David (Dave) Crosby was the younger brother of Phillip Crosby, and a quality management expert in his own right.  Perhaps not as well known as Phillip, David was a regular author and quality contributor.  He worked in the Quality arena for 50 years.  He wrote two books,  "The Zero Defects Option (How To Get Your People To Do Things Right)" and ""Zero Defects Option".  He was a prolific contributor to the Quality Digest (

David was committed to the notion that it is possible to create a Zero Tolerance culture.  Committed to the notion that zero tolerance is a leadership choice   Zero tolerance for defects or error was not the original thought of David Crosby, nor of Phillip Crosby.  It was included in the 14 points of W. Edwards Deming, and was a guiding principle in aeronautics and missile development.  Regardless of who expressed it first, it is none the less a desirable goal.  Now I know and understand the concept of slips and human foibles, but I also know about systemic error that fosters human error. 

Zero tolerance for error is a valued goal.  As one critic has commented: If by buying the book, it prevents only one defective product or service, you are way ahead of the game.  There are no $25.00 errors. 

Phillip was 4 years older than David and created his quality consulting company one year before.  And his fame rating was probably higher.  That being said, both brothers can be found in my library. 

For my American colleagues, enjoy a belated Thanksgiving (we Canadians celebrated out a few weeks ago).


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