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They’re delivering a one-two punch to defects. They’re ridding the earth of process waste. They’re on the front lines delivering customer service perfection. They’re in leadership striving to make a difference in the world. They’re kicking process improvement butt! The Wonder Women of Quality are here!

This month in the Wonder Women of Quality pantheon we are honored to highlight Dorsey Sherman!

Dorsey is the Founder and Principal of Modèle Consulting. She teaches and coaches organizations to reach their full potential by practicing scientific thinking and strategy deployment.

Here are Dorsey’s answers to a few of our questions:

What would you say is your Quality Mission?

My mission is to help organizations manage quality and improvement through visual management, rapid experimentation, reflection and learning, instead of committee meetings. I also believe in the power—and evidence—behind striving for positive outcomes that benefits customers and employees instead of focusing on solving problems or eliminating waste. Finally, I think the more psychological safety we create at work, the better we can discuss the gritty truth while striving for excellence.

How would you describe your Quality Superpowers?

  1. Listening and asking good questions to help leaders uncover the answers and ideas that are already within them.
  2. Empowering people to take action and to help them see that “failure”—plan ≠ actual—is a good thing.
  3. Demystify the complex. I love helping leaders organize and clarify a complex issues—I always frame it around what they are trying to achieve, where they are now, what it would feel like to “get there” and what is in the way (show-stoppers).

How would you describe organizational Quality Kryptonite?

  1. Ourselves! We give up too soon when something is hard. When lean “doesn’t work,” we move on and look for the next magic bullet.
  2. Analysis paralysis—we spend too much time debating when we just need to take action and start doing and learning ASAP. The answer to how is yes! (Also the name of a book by Peter Block)

What would you say were some of your Quality Victories?

  1. Helping an executive see that telling her staff what to do all the time wasn’t helping anyone learn or develop.
  2. Giving confidence to a director who felt overwhelmed by a problem by teaching him the simple 4-step Improvement Kata practice routine.
  3. Simplifying lean through the practice of Improvement kata and Coaching kata. Move people from theory to immediate relatability to today’s issues.
  4. Create a structure for staff and leadership to discuss organizational goals and help leadership see that the way strategic goals are framed is sometimes unmotivating to middle managers.

What are your “Words of Wisdom” to aspiring Wonder Women of Quality?

Keep experimenting! Don’t give up because things aren’t working out. Set a goal that connects to your purpose, vision, and values, understand your current condition, identify obstacles and experiment every day to get closer.

Thanks again to Dorsey Sherman for her quality thoughts!

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