Denis Leonard has a degree in construction engineering an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in quality management. Denis is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, a Certified Quality Manager, Auditor and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has been an Examiner for the Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners a Judge on the International Team Excellence Competition and a Lead Judge on the National Housing Quality Award. A former Professor of Quality at the University of Wisconsin, he has experience as a quality manager in the homebuilding industry as well as construction engineer, site manager and in training, auditing and consulting with expertise in strategic and operational quality improvement initiatives. His work has achieved national quality, environmental and safety management awards for clients.

Denis is co-author of 'The Executive Guide to Understanding and Implementing the Baldrige Criteria: Improve Revenue and Create Organizational Excellence'.

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Quality is a companywide issue

Quality is not about tunnel vision, a focus only on the reduction of variation in production alone. Quality is no longer just about the product, but the management of all operations and should be integrated into all aspects of a business. Focusing on every aspect of a business requires a systematic look at an organization to discover how each part relates to the other.

Quality is a companywide issue with a need for a strategic mind-set in leaders. After all, quality is as important an issue for attention as marketing, production or human resources. Indeed, quality should be seen as part of the corporate strategy, not simply a separate tool, but interwoven into the very framework of the strategic process.

Quality will only be effective to the extent that it permeates the entire organization and only if it is disseminated and accepted effectively, especially by senior managers. If senior managers do not consider quality an integral part of corporate strategy, then it will not be fully integrated – it will simply be a ‘bolt-on’ and never achieve it true potential. 

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