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#50 – How to implement any ISO

To celebrate hitting 50 episodes, I wanted to bring to bring to you something a little extra special today. and that is ‘How to implement any ISO’, but before we do, I’d just like to say a huge thank you to all our listeners.  Keep sharing the ISO Love, and share this episode with anyone who is looking to take their business to the next level.

In this episode I take you through 4 simple steps to implementing any ISO Standard.

  • Understanding your business (I mean really understand your business – warts and all!)
  • Create
  • Share
  • Engage

When you break it down, the same ingredients apply to how you approach to implementing and ISO Standard.

To celebrate hitting 50 episodes, I wanted to bring to bring to you something a little extra special today. and that is ‘How to implement any ISO’, but before we do, I’d just like to say …….

Thank you, thank you, thank you – for listening in, and giving your time to listen to the ISO Show, I’ve loved recording the last 50 episodes with some amazing guests, and I really hope you’ve found them beneficial and taken away some great tips and insights into how other businesses have succeeded and how they’ve transformed their businesses with ISO Standards.  So I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to them too, if you did please could leave a review and hit subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts, because that that means that we can continue to inspire and educate others, and it also means we can keep getting epic guests on the show.

I’d also like to give a quick shout out to Steph Churchman, our Communications Manager here at Blackmores, who has been my saviour in doing these recording – especially when we’ve had technical issues, and even lost guests midway through recording.  She’s been absolutely fabulous in making my vision for the ISO Show become a reality! So huge thank you Steph! You are a star!

So, onto today’s episode which is ‘How to implement any ISO Standard’ – you may think, hey that’s a bit of a bold statement, there are thousands of ISO Standards! Yep! But when you are implementing an ISO Standard to improve a business, there are a few secret ingredients, and I’m going to let you in on those today.  But I don’t just want to do that, I’m going to provide a free check-sheet on ‘How to implement any ISO Standard’ which will be available to download from the show notes.

I’m going to share with you our ISO Steps to Success – this is a proven methodology that, at we’ve refined over the last 14 years, and implemented for over 250 companies – 250 companies, in over 20 countries. Not only that – with a 100% success rate, yep, an awesome 100% success rate.  So here’s what we do

# 1   Understanding the organisation

You need to fully understand what your businesses biggest risks are but also establish where you most impactful opportunities are.

  • Gap Analysis,
  • Identify risks, opportunities, interested parties, – SWOT/PESTEL
  • Understand legal requirements. – Statutory, regulatory and contractual requirements
  • Finally – establish a clear SCOPE – what is your ISO Management system going to cover?

It’s only really when you’ve fully understood your organisation that you can create a roadmap to achieve success with where you are trying to get to.

# 2    Creation  

Create the Management System policies, procedures and templates – long gone are the days of Quality Manual or worse still ISO Manual – you label it to suit your company brand, culture and vision. Give it some thought, as this will be the central point that you want employees to go back to I they need any guidance and support on their way of working.  For the purposes of this podcast, I’ll simply refer to the Standards terminology of ‘Management System’.

So lets get down to the creation of your management system…..

Top tip alertwhere the standard says ‘shall’ it is basically saying – don’t bullshit me – you’ve got to god damn have this in your system or it will fail an assessment!

So if the standard says’ top Management SHALL establish, implement and maintain an environmental Policy – it means, DO IT!

If the standard says ‘The organisation SHALL establish environmental objectives at relevant functions and levels – DO IT!

The standard is there to HELP your business, and it is crystal clear in the ‘SHALL’s’ exactly what you need to do to achieve success.

# 3 Sharing

There is no point having an awesome ISO Management System sitting in a manual or buried in a server somewhere if no one knows about it, or they can’t find it!

You need to SHARE it with everyone, after all its been created for the organisation to succeed – to be more profitable, productive, reduce risk, be more sustainable – so everyone needs to be AWARE of the management system AND be empowered to take responsibility for it!

There is no point in having an Information Security System in place, if know one knows what a security breach is in your business is or who to report it too!  What’s the point!

So you need to have….

  • A Communications Plan – Internal Comms, External Comms – website, social, newsfeed.
  • Awareness training (classroom or eLearning), recordings  
  • Make it accessible – not everyone may have access to a PC – think outside the box – how can you get your ‘Way of Working’ to the workforce? – screens in meeting areas, virtual noticeboards.
  • Themes – World Environment Day – Create a buzz, create energy and enthusiasm for getting involved and making a difference.  You can use this either for the launch or for refresher sessions.

 # 4 – Engagement

  • You need to get the company ‘Way of working’ which are your policies and procedures, systems into the business DNA – be crystal clear on accountabilities and responsibilities.

Engagement is so critical to making this a success……

If you are launching a new client onboarding process to improve the customer experience – make it clear, how the process works, what results you expect to see, how you are going to monitor the results, and who is going to make it happen!

Get those responsible to own it and take pride in their achievements.

  • Next, I know you may think you are wonderful, and I’m sure you are amazing, but in all honesty you can’t successfully embed an ISO System on your own!

In all businesses there are usually closet ISO Champions – just waiting to be asked to contribute – so why not encourage engagement?

Why not Create a hub for Champions? – give them the tools and platform to make it happen!

This isn’t just about when you launch a new ISO System, but to demonstrate how you are continually raising standards! so let’s say you have a Health and Safety System – ISO 45001 – Your H & S Champions could be championing the COVID-19 H & S Risk Assessments, controls and awareness for your employees across all area of your businesses.

Having these champions, will make Management’s life easier to communicate key issues and solutions, to create a better working environment and happier clients.

  • Carrying out Internal Audits – So this another ‘Shall’.  It is not optional, and this is where ISO Standards can get bad press, as a result of lazy or incompetent auditors (or worse still lazy and incompetent) just using it as a ‘tick-box’ exercise.  Use this opportunity to really engage with your workforce – this is such a value tool in the tool box if done in the right way – it helps you to understand an employees:
  • Level of understanding
  • Opinions and views of the process
  • Opportunities for improvement
  • Gauge level of compliance and readiness for the assessment.
  • Engaging in the Leadership Team through Management Review

So that’s it in a nutshell, that’s how you implement ANY ISO Standards. 

I’d love to hear what your top takeaways were on the show today, and share that with me, I absolutely love reading the reviews and suggestions.

Don’t forget to follow us on Linkedin. Also, ISO Show listeners will get a 10% discount on ISO Steps to Success, ISO Support Plans and ISO Elearning. Just quote ‘ISO Show’ in your enquiry.

………before I go I just wanted to say thank you so, so much for being here and  listening to the ISO Show, and showing up today – if you know anyone, colleagues, associates, friends in your life that would really benefit from having an awesome System in place to take their business to the next level – to be more efficient, sustainable and profitable then please share this episode with them.

Thanks once again for listening, and I look forward to catching you on the next ISO Show….

Awesome resources

ISO Steps to Success – Free consultation to discuss the feasibility of ISO for your business

ISO Support Plan – Free health check on your ISO Management System

ISO Elearning – Wide range of ISO Standards courses for just £50 per course.

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