There are four phases in the construction of a building— the study of the basic concept of the construction, the evaluation of the place of construction, the architectural project and the execution of the work. In the same way there are four steps to improve our internal quality:
• Conceptual basis—what is quality and where it applies; notions of the systemic or holistic vision of processes and the individual’s importance in the several systems of which it is a part;
• Evaluation of the current situation—why institutions and the individuals that compose them are not developing to their full potential;
• Project of self-change—how to plan and initiate personal transformation that brings “total quality” to life.
• Construction of a better life—motivation and the practice of self- reflection in order to develop proactive relationships.
One of my major learning points that has always encouraged me towards this goal is the following; If I always seek to improve myself I have nothing to lose. If the world improves I will be better prepared to take my place in it than someone who doesn’t prepare. If the world gets worse, my effort to develop positive values now will help me to face the difficulties better than someone who does nothing. And finally, without even considering the future, my effort to improve now, and the consequent personal victories, big and small, already help me in the present! It is extremely interesting to observe and be part of a phase in human history that the future will remember as the great turning point.
Ken O’Donnell is the author of several books. This article is an extract from the introduction to his book Endoquality: The Emotional and Spiritual Dimensions of the Human Being in Organizations, published in Portuguese by Casa Da Qualidade Editora (1997)