Month: October 2011

Re-defining Quality

Posted on LinkedIn at

Define Quality…! A conversation about a Quality definition is getting hot, What is your definition?

Derek Deighton • Quality (BigQ) is that which ~

“Maximises the ‘essential’ value added to society resulting from the creation, use and disposal of a product or service at continually reducing Resource Intensity”

In a resource constrained environment any process, product or service that does not add ‘essential’ value to society has infinite Resource Intensity and zero utility or Quality

Any organisation that cannot define and realise, at continually reducing resource intensity’ the ‘essential’ value it adds to society will not survive in a resource constrained environment.

The ‘First Law of Sustainability’ states ~ In a resource constrained environment, goods and services can only grow at the rate at which their Resource Intensity is reduced, the resource use per person per unit of ‘essential’ value delivered. 1=P*C*RI

LittleQ is any recognisable subset of BigQ, fitness for purpose, conformance to specifications, customer satisfaction etc.

This approach to Quality is dictated by the need, in a resource constrained environment, to do the ‘right thing’ right by using resources ‘effectively’ not ‘efficiently’ using resources to do the wrong thing.

‘Failure Demand’ is any economic, social or environmental cost, or possible cost, that prevents, or might prevent, ‘essential’ value being maximised over the product or service life cycle.

Globally the situation is evident but the full import is not being recognised in the face of spiralling consumption.

BigQ ~ ‘Leading for Competitive Advantage’ The Big Q PDF

Strategic Thinking in UK Governance

The UK Public Accounts Committee has recently carried out a consultation exercise on ‘Strategic Thinking in Government’. A link to the submission made by me can be found below.


Background to the consultation

Reasons for the inquiry

 In October 2010 PASC published a report, ‘Who does UK National Strategy?’, which concluded: The answer we received to the question, “Who does UK Grand Strategy?” is: no-one … As things stand there is little idea of what the UK’s national interest is, and therefore what our strategic purpose should be.


 The global system is increasingly multipolar, with power shifting East, potentially diffusing to international institutions and to different non-state actors (like civil society, business, high-net worth individuals, cities and regions, sovereign wealth funds, Diaspora groups, international multi-stakeholder fora).

 The development in social media that harnesses the ‘wisdom of crowds’, cyber-advances, and other technological progress is transforming the context of policy making. This challenges the capacity and nature of government but also provides opportunities for both stronger engagements with the public and clearer national leadership.

 The complex and unpredictable nature of many global issues, which stem from multiple and interrelated problems, require systems-based and evidence-based analyses if emergent strategy is to be effective and efficient. Within this context, many countries (including the UK) face implicit, diffuse and unpredictable risks, rather than explicit and identifiable threats.

 In a previous report, we identified a deficit of strategic capacity across Government. In its initial inquiry, the Committee found “little evidence of sustained strategic thinking or a clear mechanism for analysis and assessment. This leads to a culture of fire-fighting rather than long-term planning”.

 We wish to assess what progress has been made since then.

 Response to the PASC Consultation on Strategic Thinking in Government v2