From Publishers Weekly
Pete, hero of this rapturous business novella, manages an ice cream factory where "the low hum of mediocrity filled the air...like an offensive odor." Desperate to boost margins, Pete makes a sales call to the local Natural Foods grocery store, where he is amazed by "how clean and fresh, warm and welcoming the store was," by the cheerfulness of the employees, and by charismatic store manager Mike, who expounds legendary Natural Foods founder Glen Goodwill's philosophy of putting quality before profit. "Mike...I need help," Pete sobs, in the throes of a conversion experience, "tell me what I can do to make quality a part of our culture." He learns to empower his workers, listen to customers and obsessively measure every detail of production processes with an eye to continuous improvement. Soon lumpy texture and leaky cartons are a thing of the past, profits soar, Pete is promoted to company president and he even applies Mike's teachings to enhance the quality of his marriage and parenting. Chowdhury, author of The Power of Six Sigma, extends Total Quality Management from a managerial program into a journey toward spiritual redemption. He conveys its principles through a smattering of process-engineering argot ("we reduced tolerance of variables on our mix-ins to .1 grams and the depth of each tub to two millimeters"), golf and football parables, and cultic incantations like "you have tilled the soil, to prepare it for the seed of quality." Although less than convincing as a motivational tract, this book provides a readable, if sketchy, introduction to TQM precepts.
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TAKING QUALITY TO THE NEXT LEVEL
“Great book! The Ice Cream Maker
should be mandatory reading for anyone entering the workforce.”
–Steve Walukas, Vice President, Corporate Quality, DaimlerChrysler Corporation
“This business gem is short in length, but boundless in the depth of its insight and wisdom. If there is only one book and one author I could recommend in the world of quality, it would be The Ice Cream Maker
and Subir Chowdhury.”
–Marshall Goldsmith, founding partner of Marshall Goldsmith Partners, and author of The Leader of the Future
“Fabulous! The Ice Cream Maker offers a great illustration of the amazing results that can be achieved by engaging your entire workforce in the efforts to improve quality.”
– Lee A. Mundy, Executive Director, Strategic Quality Initiative, General Motors Corporation
"In 115 jargon-free pages, [Chowdhury] boils down most of the wisdom of
modern management theory and practice that is equally relevant to chief
executive and front-line clerk."
---- THE WASHINGTON POST (10-9-2005)
"The Ice Cream Maker becoming a kind of Detroit Bible, at once raising
our expectations and our self-confidence. That's bold self-promotion --
chutzpah -- a quality that our battered region could use right now."
---THE DETROIT NEWS (11/13/2005)
"Subir Chowdhury's mission is to make quality part of America's
corporate DNA. The Ice Cream Maker is a great step on the path to this
--- KEN BLANCHARD, coauthor of The One Minute Manager