The Virtuous Circle

A virtuous circle is one where a good event feeds on itself to improve a business further. It is a positive feedback loop.

At Performance Plus we help our clients gain international (ISO) certification for one or more aspects of their management systems. This could be for Quality, Environment, Health & Safety, Information Security or many other specialist areas.

More often than not, the reason our clients seek certification is that they are being driven by their own clients to do so. Sometimes it’s as basic as “if you want to do business with us then you need to achieve ISO certification”. Getting that tick in the box, if you like.

If that is the case, one of the significant stumbling blocks we encounter when preparing that organisation for certification is one of the early clauses. It typically states:

“Top Management shall demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to the (sought after) management system by…”

This is a commonality across all the current Standards. And it goes on to list such terms as:

  • taking accountability,
  • ensuring appropriate objectives are set and achieved,
  • ensuring compatibility with the vision and direction of the organisation,
  • communicating the importance of the effectiveness of the management system,
  • ensuring that appropriate resources are made available,
  • engaging, directing and supporting people to contribute to the effectiveness of the system,
  • promoting improvement of the system
  • and so on…

A key part of our job as consultants becomes convincing the aforementioned ‘Top Management’ that there are significant benefits to them and their organisation. Not just by achieving the sought after certification and getting that tick in the box. But, if they apply the principles behind the Standard, they can genuinely improve their business. They will then reap the benefits of improved productivity, employee engagement, customer satisfaction and, ultimately, increased profitability.


Virtuous vs a vicious circle

It’s a virtuous (as opposed to vicious) circle. So a positive versus negative effect. If Top management is convinced of the benefits of a good management system, then they will do all the necessary things to “demonstrate leadership and commitment” to that system. As a result, it will be far easier to achieve ISO certification.

If you want to talk about how a certified management system can improve your organisation, give us a call on 01284 330 400 or email us on


We work with small to medium size businesses across the East Anglia Region covering Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

Norwich, Norfolk; Ipswich, Suffolk; Cambridge; Colchester and Chelmsford, Essex