Leading – The Way To ISO Certification

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on April 28, 2016

Leading...The Way To ISO Certification

Part #7 in a Series: What Our ISO Certification Means to You

Today I’m checking in with another look at how our customers are impacted by Superior Business Solutions’ ISO Certification and the things we do to maintain it. Each post will discuss one of the key content areas listed in the requirements for certification.

Whether you are a senior executive, or just settling into your first job out of school, chances are you have a boss; someone who assigns you tasks, monitors your performance, and provides feedback. Most companies have plenty of them.

But ISO doesn’t care much about that. According to ISO 9000: 2008 certification standards, which we met roughly a year ago, quality companies have something much more important – leaders. Leadership is something you won’t find in an organizational chart, but you will find it in organizations that demonstrate vision, focus, and the ability to engage customers, employees, and the communities around them.

Leadership Unites the Organization

According to ISO, proper leadership is able to get employees and other key audiences to understand and embrace the goals and objectives of the organization. There are plenty of cliché’s that describe this, like the old “on the same page” mantra, or those famous posters of crew competitions that show everyone “rowing in the same direction.”  But genuine leaders are able to do more than affect behavior; they stir belief. When employees don’t merely understand the company’s mission, but take ownership of it, better things happen for everyone involved.

At Superior Business Solutions, a big part of our business success over the last 90 plus years has depended upon the quality printing projects and promotional items we deliver. So when we form a relationship with suppliers who will ultimately handle those projects, we look for those who share the same determination to deliver quality. We look for companies who aren’t promising to provide that level of quality just to earn our business; we prefer those who, themselves, have the same commitment we do, and provide a top quality deliverable as standard practice.

Leadership Provides Respect and Resources

In ISO’s view, proper leadership also acts fairly and responsibly, treating every member of the organization with respect and recognizing their contributions openly. Members are also provided the training and resources they need to contribute to, and share in, the overall success of the organization.  By creating a culture of trust and integrity, company leaders serve as positive examples of the desired behavior.

This one comes rather easily at Superior Business Solutions. Mutual respect drives the relationships among all employees, as sales representatives interact with administrative staff and technical people work smoothly with sales and office personnel to help our customers get the most from our advanced promotional product management and print supply chain technologies.

Leadership Sees a Bigger Picture

Remember those bosses we talked about earlier? They may do a terrific job maximizing the output from a production line, or getting daily tasks accomplished efficiently. But true leadership, as ISO sees it, is able to grasp a much broader image of success.

Proper leadership understands the organization’s role in its industry, its community, and even its world, making decisions that thoughtfully consider all those stakeholders. That could mean accepting a little less profit to improve sustainability, or surveying affected individuals before finalizing an expansion or corporate activity that will be felt by the community.

I believe Superior Business Solutions does good work along those lines. We offer technologies that can help employees spend their time on what they do best instead of the shopping and administrative chores related to printing and promotional products. We also do a significant amount of communication through our blogs and other vehicles that proudly explain and support the printing and promotional products industries. We are proud of serving as an “industry spokesperson” on many important topics.

Curious about what criteria ISO standards use to determine if your company’s leadership profile and performance is worthy? Give me a call. I’ll be happy to share what I do know. We’re proud of earning our ISO certification, of course. But we are even more grateful to the many customers who put their trust in us every day to help them.

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