From Preface

Why this Book was Originally Written

The first edition of this book, titled A New America TQM—Four Practical Revolutions in Management, was drafted in 1990–1992 and was published in 1993. We had several reasons for writing the book.
      A variety of companies we knew needed practices, methods, and tools to provide increased customer satisfaction in a rapidly changing world. In particular, the seven founding member companies of the Center for Quality of Management (CQM) had such needs. Shoji Shiba had seen companies that developed practices, methods, and tools to support four revolutions in management—customer focus, continuous improvement, total participation and societal networking—seemed better able to maintain and increase customer satisfaction in the face of rapid change. In particular, their capabilities were enhanced when they treated the various activities as part of a system (perhaps a system unique to their company) for which over time they could understand the interactions between the parts of the system and improve the way the overall system operated. The book was written to help companies and their top management teams develop their systems practices, methods, and tools in the four areas.
      The book was aimed at senior management because broad business improvement works best when it starts at the top and is taken down to the rest of management and employees by a committed top management team. In particular, the book focused on issues of general management and treated narrow issues such as quality control very lightly.
      Many books have been written on methods for business improvement, but many fewer provide the mix of theory, case studies, and detailed step-by-step methods that our book provided. On the one hand, our book provided tried-and-true methods; on the other hand our book provided methods the were a half-step ahead of common practice. Also, the book did not take the viewpoint of any particular institution or individual; rather, it synthesized successful practices used around the world. Thus, the book could be read by those seeking state-of-the-art management concepts or those seeking something closer to an implementation manual of the best available methods.
      All of these reasons for writing the first edition of the book continue to drive us as we develop the second edition of the book, and we emphasize some of them even more in the second edition, as described in the next section.

Why and How the Second Edition of this Book Came to be Written, and its Title

Since publication in 1993, the first edition has sold nearly 20,000 copies and continues to sell well. However, since the book was begun in 1990, much has changed in the world, especially in the U.S. for whose readers the book was primarily written, that demands this update of the book, which we now publish under the title Four Practical Revolutions in Management—Systems for Creating Unique Organizational Capability

Continuing evolution of business needs and business improvement methods. The first edition of our book in 1993 was nominally on about the why and the how of Total Quality Management (TQM). TQM by then had developed over nearly 40 years, first in the U.S., then in Japan, and then again in the U.S. Historically, TQM was focused on improving the quality of products and service and doing so with maximum efficiency. In other words, it was focused on quality assurance—the management of quality. Neither the first edition of this book nor this second edition puts much emphasis on this traditional focus of TQM on quality assurance. There are many other books on TQM narrowly defined as quality assurance.
      By the time we drafted the first edition of this book the focus of the methods known as TQM was beginning to move from the management of quality to the quality of management—dealing with the ongoing improvement of the way an organization is managed in a rapidly changing world. Thus, the focus of our first edition was on management and not limited to product and service quality. In fact, shortly after the first edition was published in 1993, we began speaking and writing about TQM as Total Quality of Management rather than Total Quality Management; in the last several years, when we were trying to be precise, we have begun to speak of TQofM rather than TQM.
      Nearly another decade has passed since we began to write the first edition, and the evolution of the problems organizations face has continued. Beyond assuring product and service quality and more generally continuing to improve the way they operate their business, many organizations find it necessary to redefine their business upon occasion. To these ends they need to create an appropriate management system or organization for their own situation. In fact, during the time since the first edition, we have come to see the TQofM methods we were teaching as being aimed at helping a company create its appropriate unique organizational capability
      Also, over the past decade or two, organizations of every type have come to think of themselves more as businesses. Once upon a time only for-profit manufacturing and service companies were thought of as being in business. These days, at least in the U.S., there is increasing pressure for government, the military, health care organizations, schools and colleges, charities, and even churches to operate in a more business-like fashion. There is loud complaint when the government of a state or a health care organization “does not operate like a business" or “is not accountable."
      In this new edition, we describe methods to address these new needs. In particular, we describe methods to address the needs of organizations (a) to have a dynamic (not static) implementation strategy, (b) to plan for ongoing exploration and discovery and not just for execution, and (c) to diffuse not just within teams or within organizations but in a reinforcing way among individuals, teams, organizations, and across society. Addressing this combination of needs is a unique aspect of our book.

New case studies. The widespread use by companies of the methods described in the first edition and newer methods since the first edition has resulted in many new case studies being available for use in the second edition.

Emphasis on integration with other methods. The U.S. has had to suffer through another decade of the business press and business gurus declaring that one important management advance after another was first the panacea and then was dead. When this book was first written, TQM was the panacea, and then it was declared dead. Then came Business Process Reengineerg and then Systems Thinking. Lean Production was promoted for a while. Astonishingly, as this book is being revised, Six Sigma is becoming all the rage, as if it hadn’t been a key component in Motorola’s award winning TQM implementation in the late 1980s. It is entirely natural that new business ideas get put forward. However, it is counter-productive to see them (especially to promote them) as being in conflict with each other or each new method replacing the older methods. Once one reconciles the vocabulary differences, there is usually considerable overlap among the supposedly competing methods; and progress in all fields of human endeavor typically depends on newer methods building on or being added to the best parts of older methods. We believe that from the sets of management methods available, managers of companies must select the parts of each set that apply to their company and integrate them into a system appropriate for their company. We call this designing integrated management systems, and it is a thread that runs through this revision.

Dodging the uninformed perception that “TQM is dead". Some managers and students of management believe that “TQM is dead." Of course, the methods of TQM are very much alive. Many of the best companies use the methods of TQM, although in some cases they may not talk about them as being TQM. In fact, many TQM methods (for example, ongoing process improvement, customer focus and employee involvement) have become so accepted that they are merely viewed as part of modern management, and companies that didn’t use the methods would find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. And, as already mentioned, the methods continue to evolve and improve, often in synthesis with other “name methods."
      Nonetheless, so we can quickly move to teaching the use of the methods and avoid some of the distraction and mind set around “TQM is dead," we decided to drop “TQM" from the book’s title. Without the ability to use TQM in the title, we now use as our title the old subtitle of the book, Four Practical Revolutions in Management, which alludes to the four areas of skill development covered in the first edition and in this new edition and that make up TQM or TQofM: customer focus, continuous improvement, total participation and societal networking.

Changes in vocabulary. Therefore, TQM will be unavailable to us as an abbreviation for the principles, methods and practices contained in the four areas of skill development. Unfortunately, our newer version, TQofM, seems a little awkward and might still be confused with TQM. Therefore, in this book we will use words such as to make organizational change, to do organizational learning, to do organizational improvement, and implement organizational change and improvement rather than to implement TQM or implement TQofM; and we will refer to methods or practices of organizational change, etc. rather than methods or practices of TQM or TQofM.
      We will use organizational change and organizational change and improvement (not TQM) to refer to changing the total quality of management to develop an organization’s unique capability. These organizational changes may be incremental improvements, breakthroughs from existing business practice, or the entrance into entirely new businesses.
      In phrases such as organizational change we mean organization as a synonym for any business or non-profit entity such as a corporation, company, university, or society that might use the methods of this book to improve its overall management system. (In fact, much of the time we use business rather casually to refer to any for-profit or not-for-profit organization.)

Removing “American" from the title. The first edition of this book has been translated formally into Spanish, French, and Portuguese and has been used as a textbook in courses in the rest of Western Europe (particularly Germany) and Scandinavia (including Finland), Latin America, and in several Asian countries (including Japan). The book has also been informally translated and used in courses in China. Since the content of the book is not limited to use in the U.S., including the word American in the title was an unnecessary limitation and confusion.

Increased emphasis on theme of systematic development of skill. The first edition of this book had a clear theme of the described methods being for the systematic development of skill in managers, teams, individuals, and organizations. The new edition puts greater emphasis on this theme and on systems for combining the several areas of skill development.

Supporting materials. The first edition of this book was used as the textbook for a variety of college and company training courses. In support of these courses, a parallel set of teaching material has been created, including step-by-step manuals on specific methods, quick reference cards, homework assignments, and in-class exercises. Some of these ancillary materials are included in the second edition and some are referenced. In addition, the Journal of the Center for Quality of Management, which was started in parallel with the drafting of the first edition of this book, has been publishing for nine year and is now on-line on the World Wide Web. This edition references a number of the papers and cases studies in that on-line archive. Finally, we plan to have a Web site ( in support of this book—at minimum, a list of errors and corrections.

What we have not changed. While we have dropped some case studies from the first edition, we have kept other old cases studies. Good case studies can remain useful examples, even in some cases where they are a decade old and the company described no longer exists or operates in the same way. In general, we see case studies primarily as a way to clarify the practical use. We do not use case studies to prove the validity of a method. Good methods can fail. Bad methods can succeed. What works at one time may fail at another time, for a variety of reasons.
      This second edition is still intended to be a textbook for college courses and courses outside of colleges aimed at executives and managers. It is also intended to be read and referenced by CEOs and other organizational change agents who are engaged in improving the way their organizations (however large or small) operate. We aim to provide more than motivation for change and pat answers for how to accomplish change. We are trying to provide enough theory, practical methods, and examples to enable readers to develop their own theories for the future structure and processes of their organizations, to try them in their organizations, and over time to make them work. To support the practical use of the content of our book, we include many references to related works, both to provide pointers to additional information and to acknowledge our sources.