Most employees don’t associate “inspiration” with the quality function, but it’s time that they make this connection and perceive quality as an inspiring job. By seeking out inspirational ideas and applying them to develop an attractive vision for quality, leaders can in turn galvanize the rest of the organization to advance to higher levels of performance. A compelling change story can motivate employees to get started, and ongoing inspiration from leaders can help to fuel continuous improvement and a sustained transformation.
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”
Picasso’s advice to artists may seem far removed from the work of the quality organization. Indeed, most employees in the quality function and other areas consider today’s pharma quality environment to be anything but inspiring. Quality employees are frequently perceived as “police officers” who check and control adherence to standards and enforce bureaucratic requirements, or “firefighters” who arrive on the scene to prevent issues from growing into catastrophic events. Quality procedures are seen as overly bureaucratic and too complex, perhaps better suited to meet regulators’ increasing expectations but not to achieve the ultimate goal of improving patients’ lives. These perceptions are a source of frustration for the entire industry because they place quality in a no-win situation.