Team / Culture

Ask any manager charged with Quality Assurance – in any industry – and they will say “quality” does not cost more, it costs less. Ask typical North American business managers and they will agree conceptually that quality can cost less, but that it doesn’t work out that way in real life.

They would be wrong about real life.

Quality, when crafted through a culture, costs less; witness Toyota Motors, the world’s low cost, high quality automotive producer with growing sales, growing market share and growing profitability while Detroit struggles to stop the bleeding.

Is your company a Toyota, or a General Motors? Intentionally or not, you supply the answer to that question a dozen times a day with every business decision and every employee, supplier, trade, and customer interaction.

If you do not already have a Toyota-like culture focusing on the customer, relentlessly eliminating waste, and conducting all interpersonal relations in an atmosphere of trust and respect, you are leaving money on the table and sending customers to the competition. It begins and ends with the culture.

Team / Culture Workshops

Quality Essentials Workshop Series Overview

Customer satisfaction is essential for long-term profitability and survival. The Quality Essential (QE) Workshop Series provides the foundation for building a quality–focused, customer-oriented organization. Blend the individual quality experiences and knowledge of varied staff, suppliers and trades to unite the organization under a shared understanding of quality from the executive suite to the field project.

NOTE: Select supplier and trade participation enhances the learning experience for everyone. Our client experience shows that joint builder/supplier/trade training turns everyone into enthusiastic and highly cooperative supporters.

Quality Essentials I: Foundation of Quality

QE I establishes basic underpinnings of quality as an individual philosophy and a business operating system. Whether launching a new quality focus or energizing a stalled one, this 1 day workshop provides direction, purpose, and insight to the roles from both individual and organizational perspectives.

Participants explore customer satisfaction and its vital importance to the company’s ability to compete in the marketplace. They learn the working definition of quality from their personal experience, the importance of quality as a “Core Ideology”, and how quality is both simple to understand and difficult to apply in daily operations.

Participants should come from all departments and all levels to integrate a quality focus into the fabric of the company. Supplier & Trade participation is encouraged.

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Quality Essentials II: Quality in Daily Work

(QE-I is the prerequisite.) This 1-day workshop translates the concepts and motivation of QE-I into personal action. Attack obstacles to a true quality-driven daily operating philosophy focused on customers by confronting issues of department barriers, conflict, and time constraints. Address the critical importance and application of customer feedback for continual process improvement. Product quality is strongly emphasized, but participants learn that relationship usually determines whether customers recommend their builder to others.

Participants from all departments and all levels, including key suppliers and trades, develop 10-step action plans to begin personal quality improvement in their own group. Each participant makes a commitment to specific process improvement in their operation. Like building a home without a blueprint, process improvement can be done without a plan, but only with tremendous waste, rework, inefficiency and unhappy homeowners. Action planning is the blueprint for personal and corporate quality improvement goals, compelling participants to get ideas out of their heads and onto paper.

Winston Churchill said, “People who plan, do better than those who don’t plan, even though they rarely follow their plan.” The Action Planner’s 10-Step process walks participants through the difficulty of getting started; it helps them identify goals and payoffs, obstacles and resources, actions and outcomes, measurements and reactions. Participants leave with written personal goals, actions, timetables and measurements in hand.

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Builder/Supplier/Trade Alliance SM (BSTA)

In the builders’ world of scarce resources, there is no greater need than to have not only the best suppliers & trades, but their best people & crews. BSTA is a process developed over 15 years that guides the creation of superior partnering relationships that lead to higher quality, lower costs, shorter schedules, customer satisfaction an increased profit for all.

The BSTA process is emphasized as a business strategy, not a program. It is not a quick fix, but requires a serious commitment from all. If the builder’s personnel are not ready, failure is assured. As such there are important prerequisites to consider.

BSTA Prerequisites

Few organizations successfully jump directly into BSTA. Employees, key supplier personnel and trade leaders should first participate in the Quality Essentials Series (QE-I, II, & III). The implementation of TradeCOMM Feedback System while not required is highly recommended. When available, TradeCOMM data is discussed in each training session.

BSTA Training Sequence

  • Management Workshop: Two, 1-day sessions for the builder’s extended management team (15-25 people,) approximately 4 weeks apart to complete of out-of-class assignments.
  • Supplier/Trade Workshop: One 1-day workshop for the owners & principals of supplier and trade organizations.
  • BSTA Associates Overview: 1/2-day workshop for all other builder employees not attending the Mgt. workshop, and additional supplier/trade personnel.

BSTA Council Implementation (Option)

Known by various names such as Partners’ Council, Supplier/Trade Advisory Council, etc, this group meets monthly to address important business issues such as plan review, scheduling, cross-training safety, value analysis, the bid process, etc. TrueNorth assists the builder in establishing the structure and mechanisms to manage the council to success for all involved.

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Many people have read Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, but few successfully apply the principles to daily life. Why is that?

What would happen if your team improved their daily effectiveness by simply knowing how to apply the 7 Habits to the homebuilding industry? Costs decrease, responsibility and accountability increase, relationships and communications improve, priorities are clarified. Once connections have been made between Habits as theory and real life, participants use a step by step process to create individual, personalized action plans applying the Habits to their daily work and personal life.

There are three outcomes:

  • Improved attitudes: doing the right thing vs. doing "my" thing builds self esteem and fosters teamwork.
  • Improved communication: using common principles and concepts to solve problems enables teamwork.
  • Improved relationships: helping one another achieve success builds trust in the process, in coworkers, and in teamwork itself.

Connections positively impacts everyone inside and outside the company.

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