Quality Circles

Fletcher Jones regarded staff participation in decision making an essential element for job satisfaction.  It also proved a great way for constantly improving the way the business did things.  FJs was a leader in Australian business in the 'management by consultation' concepts and processes they introduced and adapted.  Quality Circles was one of these.  Quality circles were discussion groups with a small numbers of people from a particular work area who identified a problem and then worked to find a solution.  This was then presented to management for approval.  

 "Quality Circles were conceived in Japan in 1961 under the leadership of Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, then an engineering professor at Japan's Tokyo University.  Dr. Ishikawa, under the sponsorship of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) tied together the theories of behavioural scientists such as Maslow, Herzberg and Mc Gregor to the quality sciences introduced to Japan by Drs Deming and Juran.  The result was a system that was called Quality Control Circles.  The first circles were registered with JUSE during May, 1962."  

The concept was "based on the assumption that people who work in a particular area of any organisation are the experts in that area. And when these people are given training in how to analyse, evaluate and solve problems, they become a powerful force that benefits them and their organisations.   "You will see a marked improvement in communication.  You will become aware that your people tend to prevent problems whenever possible and overall morale will improve significantly.  And probably the most satisfying side-effect you will experience is that both you and the team you lead will get a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of this activity.  The teams that accomplish the most are the ones whose members have the most fun working together!"  Introduction pages Quality Circle Member Manual and Quality Circle Leader Manual and Instructional Guide, loaned to the project by Robert Lanchbery.   


Quality Circle certificate.  These were presented on completion of a successful project undertaken by groups of staff to improve some aspect of their work.  This one is for changes to the cuff marking template which had been causing RSI amongst staff.  Certificate donated to the project from Collette Harper - one of the 'Cuff Cuties' in the Trouser Cuff Section.
The Cuff Cuties - Trouser Cuff section FJs.  Photo: Colette Harper (front left standing.  Colette worked at FJs for several long periods from 1965 up until 2000).
Xmas Breakup of the Trouser Cuff section with Manager, Horrie Verey. Photo: Colette Harper
The Cuff Stirrers Quality Circle meeting at FJs.
Quality Circle presentation to Management.  Photo: Jones Family Collection
Hagan's Heroes - another of the Quality Circle groups at FJs.
Colette Harper presenting at a Quality Circles Training session for the FJ Mt.Gambier Factory staff.  Photos: Colette Harper

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If you would like to share images, stories or anecdotes about Fletcher Jones, the man or the business, please contact the Project Coordinator, Julie Eagles, through this website or contact via the Save the Silver Ball and Fletcher’s Gardens Facebook Page.  

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