Sandholm Associates was founded in 1971 when Lennart Sandholm started as a quality consultant. He had then been the Corporate Quality Manager of the multinational appliances manufacturer Electrolux for a period of 10 years.
He became very successful in changing an inspection oriented culture to a culture of improvement and prevention. This got Joseph Juran’s attention. He persuaded Sandholm to start a consultancy carrier. So he did. The carrier was successful, partly due to Juran’s involvement and support. Focus was on both consultancy and training (in-company as well as public). This meant that Sandholm Associates became one of the first training and consultancy companies in Europe, focusing on quality management, continual improvements, and excellence.
Already in 1972, Sandholm Associates started offering training internationally. Until now training has been carried out in 47 countries on all continents, attracting participants from over 100 countries. Thousands of companies and public organizations have been supported in their development.
In 1981 Lennart Sandholm was the first Western quality expert invited to China. This means that Sandholm Associates since then has been involved in quality management training in this country.
Sandholm Associates was early engaged in university education and training. Lennart Sandholm introduced a quality management program in 1983 at Linköping University. This was the first university program in Sweden. In 1989, the Royal Institute of Technology invited him to an adjunct professorship. This meant the start of programs for education and research in quality management at this university. Later Lars Sörquist, CEO of Sandholm Associates, became responsible for this.
After Lennart Sandholm's retirement in 2006, Lars Sörquist took over the leadership of Sandholm Associates as CEO. The company's development has continued in a positive way. Consultants associated with the company have been involved in both business companies and public organizations in various countries. Outward-looking activities through writing and conference presentations have been emphasized. Lars Sörquist has taken on senior positions in significant organizations such as the International Academy for Quality (IAQ) and the American Society for Quality (ASQ).
Today Sandholm Associates and Sandholm Excellence Center are led by Lars Sörqvist and Marita Bergendahl. Both also work as trainers and consultants.
After fifty successful years with quality management, Sandholm Associates now head into an exciting and fast-developing future. The need to improve accelerates, and Sandholm Associates is well prepared for this. For half a century, leading change focusing on improvements is our primary competence.
A significant difference we already see is digital learning taking over. We believe that future learning will be blended. A smart mix there the best digital and physical learning technics are mixed. We have also recently developed a concept of hybrid learning that makes it possible for the individual to choose what's best for him och her.
As the speed of change around today's companies and organizations is exponential, learning and improvements also have to accelerate. This means that organizations have to spend much more time on lifelong learning and that the ability to improve will be the number-one success factor of the future. Quality and improvements will be the foundation of future leadership.
Sandholm Associates is well prepared for this and is soon offering a completely new leadership development program grounded in improvement management and digital leadership.
Future organizations must take a more holistic responsibility for quality and improvements to keep up with change. In this development, Sandholm Associates will be the natural long-time partner, supporting the development of quality competence for a solid quality culture.