Today’s Canadian Public Sector Quality Association (CPSQA) meeting in Ottawa featured a workshop by Craig Szelestowski, president of Lean Agility, on building buy-in and execution in quality improvement projects.

Szelestowski stressed the importance of three key elements needed to acquire results from an idea: quality of idea, desire or buy-in of necessary stakeholders, and ability of organizations to execute the idea.

“It’s easier to say what to do than how to do it,” he said, emphasizing that all good ideas must have a detailed plan of execution.

Among his other tips, he suggested that managers be more receptive to the opinions of middle managers, who will actually be doing the work of execution, and learn how to communicate an idea to others in a way that they will understand.

For example, he asked one attendee to demonstrate how he would explain the concept of a GPS to Samuel de Champlain, using language that Champlain would understand.

Szelestowski’s presentation today was a prelude to a more detailed workshop, which he will be conducting at the Lean Government Summit on October 23rd, 2013.

Amy Allen
Amy Allen is a staff writer with Canadian Government Executive magazine. You can connect with her at