I’m a division quality manager and helping the organization prepare for an audit. Next week we are being re-certified to the requirements of AS9100, the world-wide Aerospace Business/Quality Management System Standard. Stress rises for many people when they are interviewed during an audit. An auditor who you don’t know comes in and asks questions about your work. It’s like interviewing for a job or entrance into a prestigious college. Next week over the course of four days there will be over 40 interviews. The auditors simply ask questions and look for objective evidence the organization is doing what we say we do. The four auditors will bring their observations together into a single report at the end. There will likely be findings. A finding indicates an organization doesn’t do what it says it does or there are things needing done in order to be compliant with the AS9100 standard.
Having worked with these auditors over the last few years, I’ve come to know them and understand the things they look for. For the interviewees, I’m guiding them to just answer the questions asked and say “I don’t know” when appropriate. Companies all over the world often have resource issues and recurring issues difficult to prevent. Difficulties arise when a company’s philosophy and actions do not support the requirements or expectations placed upon it by customers or some sort of certifying body. Sometimes there is a disconnect between what a company wants to do and what it is capable of doing or a gap between what is expected and what we are entrusted to do. Employees may not be aligned with company leadership or vice versa. Functional groups may silo themselves. A gap may also exist between what we are asked to do and what we are enabled to do.
These gaps may exist in our personal business. When we are young we expect to do so much but then reality sets in. When we are older with responsibilities like kids we want to do more but can not due to our chosen obligations. If we haven’t planned properly we may find we are not able to do what we originally wanted to do after our careers are over. It’s easy to get lost in a leadership gap in our lives where there’s a disconnect between our own expectations and the results we deliver. Many people live in this state of incongruity and may not even know it. Others are aware and may not know what to do. This gap that undermines our integrity may be managed and repaired. Realizing this is key to improving. But how? To learn about what to do when there’s a gap between what we are asked to do and what we enable ourselves to do check out tomorrow’s post.