Quality In/Quality Out.

You might ask, "If the teams aren't reporting to department heads, how do you control quality in a company of self-directed teams?"

You find the right people and allow their talents to breathe and grow in a healthy, full-feedback environment. They’ll take it from there.

You'll read more about this in other parts of this book. However, just to cover the basics here:

Dr. W. Edward Deming, in his "Deming Method," advises putting the emphasis on the first part of your processes. We interpret that to mean screening, recruiting and properly deploying the right people.

For our purposes, we've determined that the next step is to create a full-feedback environment for all our people. If an individual or a team receives the proper feedback from the critical sources, they'll usually deliver the right answers. (You could blindfold someone, give them feedback about their movements and surroundings, and guide him or her down a busy street with little resistance.)

For this concept to work, team members must seek and receive honest, timely feedback from their team members, the team's peers in the company, the client, the client's customers and even suppliers. Life is a game of "pin the tail on the donkey." Just listen to the feedback and you'll reach the goal.

Everyone wants to succeed. People don't need rubber-stamped approval of their work. They need information to make it better. When they get it, they usually apply it. If they don't apply it, or apply it wrongly, they learn from their mistakes – or possibly even invent something new and better.