Managing at the Speed of Life
The ABC's of TQM for Schools

by JIM ABBOTT
1st edition, 1999, 125 pages, $18.95
ISBN 978-0-89641-325-2


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Public Schools are doing a pretty good job when all factors are taken into consideration. However, they can do better.

Meaningful change for all schools must come from within the educational community as we draw upon the resources of the many shareholder groups that support our institutions. However, it would be unwise to divorce ourselves from promising models of reform that exist in private industry. Once we learn about them and advance the aspects that are applicable to school life, we open ourselves to new vistas. There are hundreds of thousands of your lives at risk, unless we make meaningful change happen now.

Total Quality Management principles and practices and Learning Organization disciplines are not meant to be quick fixes or the latest "Hollywood Curriculum." They are about quality. Because of the success of the quality movement in private industry, it is important that we learn as much as possible about it and the possible applications to schools.

Our public schoolpeople should study promising practices and corporate management successes. By understanding corporate management processes, we can tap into meritorious creative ventures and innovations heretofore unknown. When we link with Total Quality Management practices, we ensure that each school becomes a marketplace for ideas. If educators remain isolated to the quality movement, we do a disservice to our primary customers — our students.

When educators are invited to attend professional training classes to discuss the merits of total Quality Management, it is as if we go to another person's house, refuse to eat the food prepared by the host, have a fabulous time among ourselves and return to the safety of our home none the wiser than when we left. Whereas Total Quality Management organizations encourage visionaries, we educators remain myopic. While Total Quality Management organizations are "customer led", educational institutions are compliance driven. Furthermore, educational leaders tend to be plagued by inertia, limited by a long and burdensome tradition of limiting rules; while total Quality Management organizations are geared toward emphasizing relationships and allow their leaders to "Manage at the Speed of Light."

School leaders can become educated to employ a philosophy of quality to create systemic change in our educational institutions. We need leaders to guide us out of the Educational Gulag Archipelago's and into a new school culture which promotes profound change, continuous improvement and a vision of quality.

CONTENTS

Chapter 1: DECODING TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT

Chapter 2: TQM FOR SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Chapter 3: CUSTOMERS

Chapter 4: REINVENTING

Chapter 5: TRAINING

Chapter 6: QUALITY

Chapter 7: TRAILBLAZERS

Chapter 8: EXTENDED CONVERSATIOHNS

BIBLIOGRAPHY