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33 Mind-Blowing Philip B. Crosby Quotes

Philip B. Crosby was a businessman and author that contributed to management theory and quality management practices. He started the Zero Defects program at the Martin Company, credited with reducing the overall rejection rate by 25%. Crosby later went on to start his own management consulting firm Philip Crosby Associates, Inc. With more than a dozen books published with his name, here is a look at some of the most remarkable Philip B. Crosby quotes ever recorded.

“A rule to live by: I won’t use anything I can’t explain in five minutes.”

“Being convinced one knows the whole story is the surest way to fail.”

“Change should be a friend. It should happen by plan, not by accident.”

“Eliminating what is not wanted or needed is profitable in itself.”

“If anything is certain, it is that change is certain. The world we are planning for today will not exist in this form tomorrow.”

“If we deliver on time, but the product has defects, we have not delivered on time.”

“If you don’t know what the defect level is, how do you know when to get mad?”

“Improving quality requires a culture change, not just a new diet.”

“In a true zero-defects approach, there are no unimportant items.”

“It is always cheaper to do the job right the first time.”

“It is not possible to know what you need to learn.”

“It isn’t what you find, it’s what you do about what you find.”

“Making a wrong decision is understandable. Refusing to search continually for learning is not.”

“Many managers feel, somewhat cynically, that people are being paid to do their jobs and that’s that. This attitude reflects an insensitivity to people that is a trademark of many hockey-style managers.”

“Most things don’t work like they are supposed to work.”

“People are conditioned to believe that error is inevitable. However, we do not accept the same standard when it comes to our personal life.”

“Problems breed problems, and the lack of a disciplined method of openly attacking them breeds more problems.”

“Quality has to be caused, not controlled.”

“Quality is free. It’s not a gift, but it’s free. The ‘unquality’ things are what cost money.”

“Quality is such an attractive banner that sometimes we think we can get away with just waving it, without doing the hard work necessary to achieve it.”

“Quality is the result of a carefully constructed cultural environment. It has to be the fabric of the organization, not part of the fabric.”

“Quality management is needed because nothing is simple anymore, if indeed it ever was.”

“Selecting the right person for the right job is the largest part of coaching.”

“Slowness to change usually means fear of the new.”

“Successful people breed success.”

“The cost of quality is the expense of doing things wrong.”

“The great discoveries are usually obvious.”

“Very few of the great leaders ever get through their careers without failing, sometimes dramatically.”

“We must define quality as conformance to specifications if we are to manage it.”

“When in doubt, delete it.”

“When you’re out of quality, you’re out of business.”

“You don’t have to be noisy to be effective.”

“You have to lead people gently toward what they already know is right.”

Here is a look at the four absolutes of quality as defined by Philip Crosby. From establishing requirements to preventing defects and errors, quality is measured by nonconformance.

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