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Leadership and Management Systems


Leaders, in any organisation, provide the impetus for the organisation to move forward. They must capture the imagination of those they lead and move them in the same direction as the organisation. In a Management Systems-based organisation, there is a special emphasis on leadership. The leader must have important personal qualities. They are here to take their people on a journey.


Leaders are the strategic managers in an organisation. However, strategy is only realised through action. Creating a customer-centred purpose and strategy for the organisation is not enough. The leaders must also direct the efforts to achieve that purpose. That requires specific forms of direction…

  • A policy framework for day-to-day work to meet the strategic goals (Quality Policy).
  • Providing Objectives and the appropriate resources to meet and sustain the strategic path to the goals.
  • Recognition and empowerment of individuals and teams to facilitate commitment, competence and engagement of the people involved. Further, to ensure they have the capability and support to deliver the goals.

The Leader must see the scope of the organisation and how to organise it according to Quality Management Principles. They must ensure high standards so the organisation can achieve what is required.


Leadership is one of the most important principles expressed by the ISO 9001 Quality Management System (MS) and other standards. The Leaders in an organisation are responsible for putting the MS into place. Further, they must sustain it as the mechanism for improvement of the organisation.

The first job of the Leadership is to focus the efforts of the organisation to the areas that most need attention. They must also ensure that resources are available to implement the MS. Quick gains get things started. Additionally, they need to gain commitments, sort out lines of responsibility and empower the right people to follow and implement new policies put in place.

In the past, there was the requirement for a Management Representative (MR). Too often Senior management took no ownership. They delegated the operation of the Management System to the Management Representative.

Now senior management must demonstrate Leadership of the Management System. That means committing the requisite resources, finances, technology, people and responsibilities to build the MS. This work must also involve putting the right people in place. These will be the people who have to implement and deliver the appropriate processes, procedures and documentation. Effectively, they must work to successfully implement and complete the system and sustain ongoing improvements.


The other important element of Leadership is goal setting. The measurable Objectives for the organisation are critical. They set the direction for the future. They also determine how big a jump, it will be to achieve success.

Once the measurable Objectives are in place, the people, who use them, must feel confident they are achievable and realistic. So, it is the job of the leadership to challenge their people. At the same time, they must not crush the efforts of those who will have to achieve the Targets. Leaders have a delicate balance to achieve.


Organizational governance must also comply with the MS standard. The leadership must set out what the company defines as “proper support”. This means leaders must ensure the procedures are appropriate, the staff equal to the challenge, the measurable objectives are exciting but achievable. Meeting Management Standards need structure and the leaders to build it.

Governance also encompasses the need to verify the MS itself. The MS contains the means to check the system itself through Internal Audit, identifying non-conformity and corrective actions to ensure improvements. The audit process reviews every aspect of the MS. The audit report should identify improvements. Leaders with these responsibilities, work with audit evidence and the affected staff to address direct work process issues. However, they also have to consider the overall MS resources and performance. Again, there is a balance to be achieved for the leaders to be successful.


The Leadership must continuously monitor the effectiveness of the MS system in all its parts. Furthermore, the Leadership responsibility includes monitoring and overseeing improvements and achievements. For the sake of staff morale, it is important to demonstrate the organisation is moving forward. Consequently, a good leader will celebrate success with the staff when improvements are made.


Governance includes risk management. We are not just talking about health and safety. There are always wider basic risks to the organisation. Some of these lie outside the scope of the MS. The wider economics of the Nation provide an example. However, Leadership have to look both ways. They have a keen eye open for things going wrong with the MS, work processes, finances and so on. On the other hand, they must look to the wider context of the company and its economic placement. This is not an argument for a risk averse approach. Instead it is an indicator that:

  • The business environment is volatile, which provides opportunities and risks.
  • The goals of the leadership and strategic stakeholders (e.g. shareholders) must align.
  • The MS must align with the goals of the organisation.
  • The company must be economically viable and resilient, both now and in the future.


All aspects of Management System require the Leadership to have a vision and a mission. The vision is where they see the organisation going. The mission is how to achieve it through policy, resources and structure. All aspects of the organisation are touched by the MS. So, the Leaders require understanding of and focus on the associated responsibilities.

Along the way however, the leadership must find ways of communicating, opening lines of empowerment and helping their people to achieve and succeed. Ultimately, that requires specific skills and personal qualities as well as a sound, continuously improving MS.

Putting leadership into action mode

At CHARTER4 we have a long history of successfully guiding businesses through ISO projects. Obviously, we think that the leadership function is of great importance. It is one of the central focal points of our support for management teams implementing an ISO Standard. However, we also focus on one of the most important aspects of management concern. That concern is profitability. Well, we have some good news for you.

CHARTER4 has unique approach to supporting your business. We take your leadership through the extra mile, a distance often neglected by other outside resources. We believe that your investment in leadership, and in your ISO Standards project, should leverage an ongoing return. So, we work with you to ensure that you, “Improve your business, rather than just comply” with the standard. In other words we emphasis the ways in which you can improve the business return through the ISO Standard. Compliance is important, however, profit is the goal.

If you would like to know more about our unique approach to ISO projects, simply press one of the buttons below.

Leadership - ultimately the leader holds all the responsibililty for the Management System.
The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things. ~ Ronald Reagan
Certification with Charter 4 – the Business Benefits
  • Improve, rather than just comply.
  • Full service and ongoing support to compliment your resources.
  • Build on your Processes & Systems (no standard templates).
  • Help defining your Best Practice.
  • Certification by independent UKAS accredited Assessors.
  • 100% Success & guaranteed support until Certification.
  • Help to get Government Grant (when available).
  • Flexible support to complement your resources.
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