International management standards can provide organizations with challenging opportunities only if they understand the intended aims and features of those standards and apply them creatively and integrated into their business management. For that to happen, the business leaders of the organizations play the key role. For this subject, this discursive article focuses on the ISO 9004 quality management (QM) standard, which is one of the international management standards, which can be applied to all kinds of organizations. In addition to the opportunities, this article discusses difficulties and pitfalls associated with the ISO 9004 standard, and their possible solutions in practical implementations. The authors highlight aspects of how ISO 9004 can be considered as the most challenging standard in the ISO 9000 series of the QM standards. However, many organizations, which have not acknowledged the differences and relationship of the ISO 9004 and ISO 9001 standards, often apply the ISO 9000 standards in inadequate ways and hence have not the ability to exploit the potential opportunities of the standards. Especially, ISO 9004 considers QM from the entire business point of view and aims at the quality of the whole organization. ISO 9004 standard can provide QM guidance to achieve sustained success even in complex, demanding and ever-changing contemporary business environments, including the challenges of the 4th industrial revolution. This article gives ideas and creative theoretical and practical views for the ISO 9004 implementations. The aim is to emphasize that, according to ISO 9004, the organization's identity and its differentiating competitive advantages are the bases for the quality of the organization and its sustained success. In this context, each organization has its own and always existing QM realization, which cannot be separated from business management and which can be continually improved according to the organization's business development strategies and practices. In this respect, the ISO 9004 can be seen as flexible and challenging. Based on the authors’ experience, QM targets can be achieved and developed in the most natural way through the principles and practices of the learning organization. In addition to the ISO 9000 standards, organizations also use other well-known managerial references, including performance excellence models and many various management system standards of the specific disciplines. All these may be seen as sub-domains within the ISO 9004 framework. ISO 9004 also can be used for diverse TQM and sustainability implementations. This article is based on the authors’ long experience in the practical promotion and application of the ISO 9000 standard in different kinds of organizations. The first author of the article has involved in the international drafting process of the ISO 9004 standard-editions since the 1980s. He also was a cowriter of a similar ISO 9004 article about twenty years ago. That article has been publicly available on the Internet, and its over one thousand recent readers evidence a growing interest in this standard. Moreover, after 2000, ISO 9004 standard has been revised twice and rewritten completely recently. Hence, it is well-founded to re-examine this subject again in this article.