ISO and Beyond: 4 Books to Guide New Business Owners
An accredited ISO certification is beneficial for any organization, regardless of its size or industry. As discussed in an article called ‘What Are the Benefits of Getting an ISO Certification?’, what makes the internationally recognized ISO certification so important is that it helps organizations develop processes and procedures that benefit everyday operations and ensure consistent outputs, while also increasing customer satisfaction. ISO 9001:2015 is an international standard that gives organizations a framework with which they can develop an effective quality management system. This improves employee performance, boosts company efficiency, reduces waste, and enhances the customer experience — increasing your credibility with all stakeholders.
However, many business owners may not necessarily know how to get ISO certified, especially if they’re just starting. Moreover, they could also be struggling to get their fledgling business off the ground. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open. In fact, only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more — numbers that have been consistent since the 1990s. It’s time for business owners to place emphasis on meeting quality standards to ensure success, even as they begin operations.
At ISOUpdate, we offer online resources and advice, for free. However, there is nothing quite like having tangible hardcopy resources on hand for reference. Below we have highlighted four books that we believe are great starting resources to help you better understand international standards and their benefits to your organization.
Discover ISO 9001:2015 Through Practical Examples by Carlos Pereira da Cruz
Discover ISO 9001:2015 Through Practical Examples is a primer for beginners in quality management systems (QMS), although it’s also helpful for those with moderate to expert knowledge of ISO 9001. Veteran quality practitioners will appreciate over 50 case studies, charts, diagrams, and tables that show readers a practical, relevant method of applying ISO 9001 principles to your own business. Instead of blindly following policies or procedures, author and quality management consultant Carlos Pereira da Cruz offers a straightforward way to adapt a QMS into your business and meet ISO 9001:2015 requirements.
Standards, Strategy, and Policy: Cases and Stories by Peter Grindley
Since 1995, author Peter Grindley’s Standards, Strategy, and Policy: Cases and Stories have left a lasting impact on research literature for standards. Grindley establishes “standards” to represent technical specifications for quality, compatibility, and connectivity, and the book discusses how compatibility standards can ensure business success. Grindley provides readers with examples to analyze problems in establishing a new market standard and winning standards contests. He also provides practical analyses on how to maintain standard profitability, as well as how to compete within established standards.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
What happens after you start a business? Many books and blogs talk about how great the beginning is, but no one ever likes to talk about the nitty-gritty of daily business operations with candor. In his book The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, author Ben Horowitz shares some hard-earned, practical wisdom on managing the tough problems business school won’t cover. With the insights he’s gained from buying, developing, managing, selling, investing in, and supervising technology companies, Horowitz will teach you how to grow a business and let you in on the key to success: not quitting.
Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by James Collins and Jerry Porras
Pursuing Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) is probably the most memorable part of Built to Last. Authors James Collins and Jerry Porras researched 18 successful companies over the course of six years to uncover how each one managed the transition from start-up to a large corporation. They found that the secret is to never settle for just being good enough and to chase down BHAGs. Rather than following existing standards, Built to Last recommends setting even higher standards as your goal. The book also highlights an important truth: profit is not the primary focus. Rather, products, services, and employees are the true heart of the business. With purpose and principles, you can’t go wrong.
Additionally, along with purchasing the ISO 9001:2015 Standard, ISO has released companion documents to help you understand the terminology, references and meanings for each clause. Below is a list of companion resources we recommend taking a look at:
ISO 9001 – Debunking the myths –
ISO 9001:2015 for Small Enterprises – What to do?
ISO 9001 Auditing Practices Group (ISO 9001 APG)
About The Author
Jorine Bibi is an environmental blogger. She hopes that her articles provide her readers with information on what the world can do to reduce its energy use. She also believes that if we don’t address the issue of climate change soon it will be too late. In her free time, she likes to tend to her garden.
ISO Terms Explained
To the novice quality manager, ISO jargon can be extremely overwhelming. What is an NCR? What do you mean by OFI? Are we certified or accredited? But before you go and pull out your hair, let’s take a moment to go over some of the most frequently used terms and their definitions with regards to ISO and Management System Certification.
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