Firing on All Cylinders

The Service/Quality System for High-Powered Corporate Performance

Studies show that between 20-40 percent of the operating costs for most North American organizations are — usually unknowingly — consumed by poor quality. This includes redoing work, warranty claims, handling disgruntled customers or employees, scrapping defective materials … in other words, fixing things that weren’t done right the first time. On top of this horrendous waste, many organizations are not close enough to their customers to know when their products or services are missing the mark. That not only means that great opportunities for revenue generation are lost, but it also means that millions of dollars are wasted delivering or supporting products or services that are no longer useful.

A large — and growing — number of executives and managers now recognize that the quality of their future depends primarily upon the quality of the products and services their organization delivers. Producing consistently high service/quality demands a radical new closeness to customers and a level of employee/management, trust and partnership unlike anything most North American organizations have ever experienced.

Firing on All Cylinders is based on the experiences of hundreds of public sector and business organizations improving their service/quality to master a rapidly changing world. This book brings together three organizational performance fields that have, until now, been distinct and separate. These are:

  1. Customer Service — developing high perceived value and responsiveness
  2. Quality Improvement — reducing defects and mistakes while increasing productivity through improved process and system control
  3. Organization Development — building leadership skills and sustaining cultural change

Firing on All Cylinders moves quickly from why service/quality has become the major concern of executives and managers to how organizations can significantly improve their performance. The Three Rings of Perceived Value provide a simple, clear means to define “service” and “quality”. The Seven Deadly Service/Quality Improvement Assumptions outline the all too common traps that waylay many a well-intentioned improvement journey.

The heart of the book is the twelve key service/quality improvement areas or “cylinders”. These are Signaling Commitment, Listening To Internal/External Customers, Education and Awareness, Hiring and Orienting, Personal Skills, Coaching Skills, Team Skills, Systems, Reward and Recognition, Improvement Activities, Standards and Measures, and Marketing Strategies. Each cylinder contains an outline of the keys steps to improving that area, a number of short, “real life” examples of what other organizations have done, and a brief discussion of the common pitfalls and traps to making significant progress.

Firing on All Cylinders “ends with your beginning”. The final chapters lay out the roles, responsibilities, and steps to planning and beginning a long-term implementation process. These sections answer such critical questions as:

  • Who should be involved?
  • How do we build the commitment of those vital frontline people who will ultimately carry out the improvement plans?
  • How do we ensure this doesn’t become yet another “program of the month”?
  • How do we get the executive team “singing off the same sheet of music”?

Jim Clemmer’s energetic, engaging, and hard-hitting style makes Firing on All Cylinders a riveting and immediately useful book. You and your management team can use this book as a “how to” blueprint to lead your organization to ever higher levels of performance.

Order Firing on All Cylinders now! $24.95 (trade paperback)

Order the audio CD now! $22.00

Download the audiobook now! $15.99