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World Quality Month is celebrated in November around the world. American Society for Quality and other international Quality organizations publish guidelines proposing themes and ideas to arrange and manage events during this month for the industry and organizations.

This is an opportunity for everyone including the Individual Professionals, Organizations, Communities and Societies to refresh and revive their commitment to Quality and Excellence.

One of the great traditions is to commemorate the contribution of Global Quality Gurus who inspired the world through their Quality Philosophies and created numerous success stories by applying the same in the workplace. These have eventually emerged as universal foundations of Quality Principles, Practices, Systems and Frameworks.

You may choose to watch the webinar series delivered by Mr Zubair Anwar about the contribution of some of the Quality Gurus for the members of American Society for Quality and quality professionals from around the world. The presenter, Zubair Anwar shares the notable contributions from Global Quality Gurus.

In his capacity as an influencer, Zubair has several international publications; besides his role in leading the development of Service Quality Wheel as new framework of Service Quality Body of Knowledge. He contributed to “The Sage Encyclopaedia of Quality and Service Economy”, co-authored “The Certified Supplier Quality Professional – Handbook” and “The ASQ Supply Chain Management Primer”, and contributed to the 7th Edition of “Juran’s Quality Handbook”.

Besides being the Chair Technical Communities Council’s Committee on Industry/Quality 4.0, Service Quality Division’s BOK Chair, ASQ’s Official mentor, voting member ASQ Award Board, Zubair is also a senior member at ASQ and IEEE, Technical Reviewer in World Conference on Quality & Improvement (WCQI), Lean Six Sigma Conference, International Quality 4.0 Summit and Adjunct Faculty and Guest Speaker at various universities and organizations, such as TUM School of Management Germany. He has also worked with several international consulting organizations. Through many of these initiatives, Zubair has received numerous commendations, and the appreciation of those he’s worked with.

The webinar series consists of two parts. The first part covers the significant achievements of Quality Gurus from the United States, while the second part covers the main contributions of Quality Gurus from Japan.

This webinar series is also available on YouTube Channel of BIETS Centre of Excellence, and you may watch it online:

Contributed by Zubair Anwar

Zubair Anwar, Thought Leader BIETS Centre of Excellence

There is an interesting feedback that I’d like to share. Middle to top level managers from public and corporate organizations told that their promotions to higher levels is conditional to passing the management and leadership training programs and courses but they have never been able to apply those training material on their workplace. That’s why they have to rely on external consultants proposing new ideas, innovation and ways for organizational effectiveness.

Some managers reported problems that they have not been able to keep up the pace of their performance, after they were promoted to higher ranks. It was easy to perform and they can’t now manage their time to improvise the performance of their staff managers.

There are even more interesting stories. Project Managers holding some certifications were asked to develop the feasibility and they responded that they have not been taught on how to create feasibility in their classroom or certification program preparation trainings. They surprisingly asked if developing feasibility was really part of the project life cycle.

An organization sponsored few of their staff to get training on ISO 9001 QMS implementation and later, they were hesitant to accept the responsibility of QMS implementation stating that they remembered all the clauses and requirements but were not confident implementing on their own accepting as an organizational commitment.

Recently, I was facilitating a discussion and I came to know the views of some public sector executives on coaching and mentorship. They were of the view that the rookies and new staff could understand the processes and procedures through the coaching and mentorship programs to better know the organization and follow the manuals and SOPs. They didn’t see its necessity any further!!

Few years ago, I was conducting a training programs for the top executives, and I came to know that they have been discouraging six sigma programs altogether and then it was revealed that Corporate Quality Department turned down all such requests since they felt insecure having limited exposure in this area.

What do these stories and scenarios point out?

  • Organizations have structures and manuals which are well written and prepared to comply with the standards and regulations.
  • Higher ranks and leadership positions do require certain training courses and programs.
  • Middle to top level managers are accountable for managing their staff.

Yet, there is a huge gap for professionals on how to apply the knowledge gained in trainings and classrooms to the actual workplaces in service and manufacturing?

And with all these processes and procedures in place, professionals get opportunities to gain knowledge without developing appropriate skills to practice and apply.

Similarly, the job descriptions, specifications coupled with the training and certification programs don’t help in assessing required skill levels actually required to conduct tasks beyond routine.

This all results in sub-optimization and substantively undermine the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the organizations.

On the bright side, we have organizations, which manage to understand the challenges, and make it possible to overcome all these barriers by launching executive and professional coaching and mentorship programs.

This works in terms of both organizational and individual professional engagement and involvement in the pursuit of excellence.

Professional and Executive coaching and mentorship, as corporate, enterprise or individual’s initiatives help to brush up and demystify hidden talent and the real leadership skills and create confidence in professional and personal life and careers.

At BIETS Centre of Excellence, we are delighted to share that we have team of such experts with international success stories of turning around the organizations and individual professionals in achieving and sustaining excellence through effective coaching and mentorship programs.

You may also choose to watch a short video on this topic on the following link:

Your feedback and comments are most welcome!!

Zubair Anwar, Thought Leader BIETS Centre of Excellence

There are always notions regarding high competition that makes it challenging to manage the organizational structures and retain the jobs. We hear about ever increasing requirements of high performance, availability, upskilling, learning, unlearning and relearning. Likewise, some people feel themselves failing a venture as entrepreneur which has not even yet started. One of the primary factors that generate this feeling of insecurity and concerns is the high pace of evolution of new technologies. The advent of new technologies coupled with the increasing rate of diffusion of old technologies and associated markets essentially change the requisite business model of organizations which leads to complexity and uncertainty. This poses challenges to the professionals in selecting right direction for self-development and growth right from job placement, retention to career growth and transitions.

If we see retrospectively at the universities where professionals have spent quite a time in pursuing their degree programs? How did this end up? Are they able to apply the knowledge gained during that time right away on the workplace? Answer may not be very simple and straight. Because when one lands on the workplace, the requirements to perform the job tasks are found different.

Knowledge gained during university education programs really help in succeeding the job tests, interviews but this may not be an aide sufficient to perform the job functions smoothly and perfectly. Similarly, if a youngster wants to go for a start-up, the challenge becomes manifold.

But is it something secret, not known to the employers? Obviously, the employers are very much aware of it. So how do they tackle it? How it works in the corporates and enterprise? Pretty straight, they conduct job analysis, prepare job specifications and run training need analysis and come up with the plans for orientations and training programs. And this is to ascertain that employees could perform their job functions as expected and planned so that the organization would be able to meet their goals with all that individual input and team work. That as well, implies that organization is interested in training the newbies but to the extent that job function runs smoothly.

Now, although, this is the most common way, the employees are engaged, trained and retained on their jobs but after due course of time, it is quite natural to have desire of moving up in the career ladder either on the same workplace or switching to a better position in another organization. But is it really an easy way and simple decision to make? No, it is not! It is as complex as it appears to be.

So, how to have enough confidence of making such decisions in the career? For example, think about a group of 30 people working on a facility in manufacturing or service industry with same set of skills. Who would get promoted or who would get a superior position in the same workplace or in another after due course of time? Remember that functional or hard skills as we call these are not the sole criteria here. What pivot here, are the soft skills.

For example, just contemplate the following situations:

·       Who is better off in convincing others?

·       Who is more aware of tools of making decisions?

·       Who handles the conflicts better?

·       Who can manage stress and other people in stress?

·       Who is emotionally more intelligent?

·       Whose time management is more productive?

·       Who can perform multitasks such as supervisory, managerial etc?

·       Who can respond to changes more appropriately?

·       Who is more proficient in using software system and tools?

·       Who is good at analysis, business intelligence, statistical inferences etc?

·       Whose communication is more effective officially and informally?

·       Who can speak up publicly?

·       Who can identify one’s own strong and weak areas, and develop and follow a self-improvement plan?

·       Who is wiser in managing cash and finances?

But, on the top of everything, how one can demonstrate possessing any or all of these skills that we just pointed out?

So, how to get recognized by the employers, industry and society? Which in turn, can substantially increase the probability of getting job promotions, and prospective placements in the industry?

So many questions, so many doubts, known and unknown risks and uncertainty….

The ultimate solution to these dilemmas, issues and fears are the coaches and mentors who conduct personalized grooming session to help professionals to pursue their ambitions and guide to move along career path prescribing the requisite training courses and workshops with timelines that could lead to reach destination with high probability of success and full confidence. Many corporate and enterprise have their coaching and mentor programs. But there are external organizations and consultants who are also supporting to bridge gap for those who don’t’ have such access and privilege. BIETS Centre of Excellence is one such organization which is collaborating with global renowned professionals with fame of terrific success stories, history of turning around organizations and individual professionals providing both organizations and professionals with customized solution matching their industry, profession, experience and career ambition.

You may also choose to watch a short video on this topic on the following link :

Your feedback and comments are most welcome!!

Zubair Anwar, Thought Leader BIETS Centre of Excellence

Possessing soft skills or transportable skills play significantly important role in the career growth and of course in becoming an organizational and industry leader.

One of the very important and probably less exercised and practiced skill is providing corrective feedback and constructive criticism. Leaders and managers do talk about this paramount skill that substantially contributes to the development of a quality oriented culture in the organizations but this at times fades away on the office floors and conference rooms where it is direly needed.

Everyone commonly love hearing “Yes Sir, Yes ma’am” and staff also see it an easy way for so-called short term gains. Well, this is one of the ways of creating Comfort Zones that people like to stay in. And you might have heard by Andy Stanley, “Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.”

Now, on the face of it, organizational managers and staff have to promote a culture whereby the communication remains candid and leadership team is obligated to provide fair and equal opportunities to the staff at all levels to voice their opinions at the appropriate and designated interactions such as strategic, and operational planning, project planning, progress and performance reviews, continuous improvement initiatives, aggregate planning, adjusting and readjusting the plans, reward and recognitions, standardizing procedures and work instructions, conducting training need analysis, organizational climate and quality of working life feedback and surveys so on and so forth. This snapshot mandates and precisely requires a culture of encouraging corrective feedback and constructive criticism by the requisite staff. But on ground, how many organizations and their respective leaders understand and acknowledge this fact.

What is the way to actually incorporate this into the organizational culture? Would talking the talk, and making it part of organizational manual suffice the need? Certainly not! And the organizations and leaders who just want to have this written on the manuals and just want to speak about it without practicing it can’t cross the barriers of mediocrity.

Well, how about practicing it in its essence? Thinking of the situations….

  • Is the junior staff allowed to do it? If yes, how junior staff should provide their corrective feedback and criticism?
  • How to do it to the seniors and peer?
  • How to develop a culture of being a true professional to do it without being scared?
  • What are the sensitivities associated with providing corrective feedbacks and constructive criticism?
  • Do the leaders really appreciate it?
  • How does it apply in digital world?

Many corporate and enterprise arrange to conduct formal trainings to provide the awareness to their staff to get to know about it around the points such as paraphrasing the opinions in suitable words, active listening, acknowledging and negotiating. Yet, rarely, it is used as a leadership tool in the organizations to flourish a trust based culture, developing mutual respect, and a paramount life skill.

Walking the talk, I have been always known for providing corrective feedbacks and criticizing constructively and politely, but at the same time, I would absorb and welcome receiving feedback and criticism. This is a challenge zone and helps developing and exceling you. Thus, it is a bilateral process. Needless to mention, it has got its roots to the culture surrounding both the individuals and the organizations. The point to emphasize is that both organization and the individual professional should be on same page in order to gain the so-called benefits and objectives of this initiative. This has to be an organization wide engagement so that commensurate buy-in and commitment could be made.

Your feedback and comments are most welcome!!

Zubair Anwar, Thought Leader BIETS Centre of Excellence

Recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused havoc and chain of economic downturn is hitting the world. Several hundreds of thousands employees are being laid off following the industry shutdowns and filing of bankruptcy by the organizations. This situation is pushing the unemployed people on how to get new jobs since the petty aid they are receiving is not sufficient to maintain the living standards.

This should be remembered that every organization trains and grooms their staff in their own way in accordance with the specific job and task requirements. Obviously, Human Resource departments conduct job analysis and furnish job specifications and job descriptions this way. Now the question arises that how this job experience could be utilized for performing a new job at another workplace which could be a different industry, location, technology, culture and environment.

The ultimate answer to this complex situation is luckily simple. And that is to plan self-development by learning the transportable skills. Sometimes, referred to as Life or soft skills, transportable skills support the working professionals in smoothening and uplifting their careers.

Possessing and demonstrating transportable skills prepare the professionals for the upcoming challenges in the career progression as management track aid as well as in switching to a different organization. These skills to a very large extent support the working professionals to organize themselves, manage their peer and staff, creating self-discipline and even combating difficulties in their personal and community life.

Studies show that professionals possessing transportable skills are preferably retained since they are the ones who can handle pressure and stress with better emotional intelligence and can cascade technical and functional knowledge much better and effectively.

No wonder, realizing the need, several corporate organizations initiate mentorship programs for learning transportable skills instead of leaving them to regular training functions for technical and functional knowledge and skill development. This conspicuously requires personal interaction, coaching and mentoring while learning and practicing these skills. Good to share that there are now organizations offering mentorship programs to guide on how to plan, save and excel professional careers as well as manage career transitions and switching using transportable skills.

Feedback and comments are welcome!

Zubair Anwar, Thought Leader BIETS Centre of Excellence

Special circumstances require specific ways of management. Current COVID-19 has hit the world very hard and caused major shutdown of the industry worldwide besides the fact that the majority of population has been forced to remain at home in a lockdown state.

The countries which were digitally advanced have been able to at least to connect the people and businesses though they could not invoke isolation protocols to curb the disease. But this pandemic management requires measures beyond lockdown and shutdown in order to let the businesses sustain and survive.

The Subject Matter Experts worldwide need to jump in and advice the SME business owners and staff. The advice and consultancy could be given around the following points:

  • How to stay motivated after ensuring the safety measures for the home and offices?
  • What tools and gadgets are still available to connect to the customers, suppliers and regulators in the business landscape?
  • What is social responsibility amid this crisis and how can this help in earning credibility in the business circles?
  • How to motivate suppliers, customers and staff to work at home (remotely) and perform the official work, what should be changed at home to create an office environment?
  • How the cash management should be done while it is risky?
  • What are the available opportunities in the market in terms of Government facilities & program for COVID19 stricken people, utility companies, financial and other functional regulators? What can be done to take leverage?
  • Propose through community circles to SMB regulators and facilitators how to support to keep the SMEs safe from the consequences apart from managing thematic helpdesks and advisories?
  • How to ramp up the digital capability and capacity? What are the options, constraints and opportunities?
  • How SMEs can utilize the prevailing situation to build up strategies for the future in terms of digitization, running awareness campaigns alongwith the Governmental and NGOs so that customer, suppliers and their respective staff are more diligent and can come out from the fear zone to the comfort zone and start finding out the ways out.
  • Realizing that one department, community or industry can’t do magic for everything to go back to “pre COVID-19” state. This requires a collective response and preparation.
  • Evaluate and find out the industries and avenues which are open and how SMEs can adapt to contribute to the industrial activities which are up and running.
  • Enhance social connect to know the available avenues, Government policies, regional situation to embark upon with some adaptation in the businesses and associated plans.
  • Find out opportunities available with the corporate sector after their supply chain are interrupted internationally and evaluate if their needs can be met regionally and locally by the SMEs as outsourcing or sub-contracting entities.
  • Call for collaboration to meet the standard and requirements by corporate sector, since with collaboration and pooling resources, the quality and productivity can be improved.
  • Utilizing internet connectivity, social media and electronic media, find out the emerging needs of the society, industries etc and develop plan to deliver them “digitally”.
  • Understand how to handle the panic and fears that is likely to demotivate people and workmen. Arranging counselling and advisory for psychological rehabilitation can help.

Feedback and comments are welcome!

Zubair Anwar, Thought Leader BIETS Centre of Excellence

Quarter 1 of 2020 has been horrible for almost all of the countries worldwide. While, the world is still going through COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult to estimate the total economic loss, it has caused to the global business. China so far looks like the only country, which has been reported to curtail the epidemic with full force by invoking strict protocols and measures. Western World including North America and rest of the world are still testing and trying their best ways to curtail the aftermath of this unprecedented disease. Experts from healthcare and medical sciences are working at full throttle to discover and determine cure and prevention to stop the disease. This outbreak has proven a real catastrophe in not only scaring the masses at a very large scale but has also caused wide shut down of the societies and big chunks of economies. There are predictions that global economic recession would follow the epidemic even if it is optimistically overcome within this year.

The pandemic has also exposed the capacities and capabilities of the governments, corporate and the international organizations in terms of their readiness for business and operations continuity and disaster recovery and management. Unlike previous catastrophes occurred in the history, governments and societies have been able to communicate through the modern technologies by the available fastest medium of communications. Probably, it would be appropriate to state that digitally connected governments, corporate and communities were able to exchange information at a very high pace. Nevertheless, the discussion about the on ground actual response and mitigation after receiving this information remains debatable and subject to many interventions.

In the middle of this catastrophe, would it be justified to state that the digitization and developing the digital economies are at least the right direction to continue with better future plans? The digitally equipped economies, businesses and communities are better off in terms of assessing the losses, formulating mitigation strategies and analyzing the short term results for readjustment and fine tuning even though with all the so-called information flooded in the social media but still connecting the people. How long this pandemic will continue is not known but digital tools, techniques and frameworks are helping the communities to sail through the ocean of sufferings.

One of the paramount need is to keep imparting the knowledge and skills through education and training in the next generations pushing away the forced gaps imposed to avoid contiguity. This is really important not to let the disease and its fear to take over the human diligence. Fortunately, the modern technologies are upholding promises and can be harnessed to monetize to their full potential.

In the Western World including North America, virtual platforms already exist and being widely adopted for academic, professional and vocational education with full acceptance and accreditation. Pandemic situation has justified these investments and now these could be paced up and embarked upon for more amazing results. Not to forget, the evolving Industry 4.0 with all its technologies have proven their worth and significance. This has a great lesson for the global communities to avail this opportunity to build upon the strategies, plans with clear objectives towards digitization. Every cloud has a silver lining and all it requires is to visualize the insights, continue the struggle, develop intermediate plans and formulate new strategies to pursue clear digital objectives. This may essentially require rising above the regulatory guidelines which are boasted as benchmarks for the institutions. All of us would need to shift ourselves and the communities from reactive responses towards a proactive excellence approach. Is the current pandemic crisis really calling upon to develop a new excellence framework based upon stakeholder approach, a shift from shareholder’s paradigm?

Comments are welcome!!

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