Quality Means Doing It Right When No One is Looking

by on Aug 15, 2019

This is a famous story shared by quality gurus. Nonetheless let me repeat it here as it is an interesting story that puts into perspective the idea of QUALITY.

You can watch this video version, or just read through the story below.

Once, a man went to the workshop of a sculptor. He saw the sculptor giving finishing touches to a tall statue, while an exact duplicate was lying behind the sculptor.

The man got curious and asked the sculptor, “Why are you creating the same statue again?”

The sculptor answered, “There is a defect in the nose of the other one.”.

The man walked up to the statue lying behind the sculptor, examined the nose closely, and saw that there was a very very very minute scratch on the nose.

He asked the sculptor, “The defect is so tiny that once the statue is erected, and the nose goes up in the sky, no one will ever be able to notice it, and therefore no one will ever know about it.  So why bother?”.

The sculptor replied, “I know about it.”

So, yes, Henry Ford was absolutely spot on when he said,

Quality Means Doing It Right When No One is Looking.

Being deeply involved in quality these days, I stop to think what is QUALITY?

Quality is a culture.
Quality is an attitude.
Quality is character.
Quality is a commitment.
Quality is a promise.
Quality is ethics.

Quality is all the above, before it is anything else. It is all the above before it is about controlling bugs or defects in products and services.

The sculptor is our story was all those things before he was a sculptor. The guy would have had the same commitment to quality if he were an electrician, or a writer, or a web designer, or a manufacturer or any other professional.

This is my first post in the quality series. More will keep following.