May Roundup: Deming, Management & More

The ASQ blogging theme in May was a bit different from the norm, as we had five topics that ranged from bringing quality to the C-suite to forecasting the future of quality. And, some bloggers chose to respond to a post about ASQ’s just-released Global State of Quality Research (watch for more on the blog about this major project). These diverse topics produced a great of variety of fascinating blog posts in May—great reading material.

John Hunter, Anshuman Tiwari, and Scott Rutherford wrote about Dr. Deming’s insights on management and workplace incentives. It’s a timely topic for ASQ’s audience, since one of our 2013 World Conference speakers, Dan Pink, reflected on this theme–and cited Deming–in his well-received keynote. Pink argued that short-term incentives are effective only for the most rudimentary tasks, and that autonomy and self-direction motivate in jobs that require creativity and problem solving.

On that note, John focused on the importance of senior executives leading management improvement efforts.  Mark Graban analyzed Deming’s management philosophy. Anshuman Tiwari added a bit of controversy to the conversation, questioning whether Dan Pink understood Deming correctly, and arguing that autonomy and empowerment are not always effective as incentives. Scott responded the Deming and Pink are indeed on the same wavelength. And Tim McMahon contributed another post about incentives beyond money at work.

And Aimee Siegler reflected on her “aha” moment at ASQ’s World Conference: Sometimes we have to create our own motivation at work when it’s lacking.

Nicole Radziwill wrote about structure versus innovation after a bad experience with a rental car in Iceland. Can we have innovation without structure? Nicole doesn’t think so.

Jimena Calfa wrote about the importance of “soft skills” (or call them people skills, or negotiating skills) in technical occupations. Jennifer Stepniowski also stressed the crucial important of soft skills to getting things done.

Don Brecken wrote about bridging the gap to the C-suite, encouraging quality professionals to act as mentors and teachers in their organization. (Speaking of the C-suite, Scott Rutherford believes we put too much emphasis on STEM rather than business skills.)

Manu Vora reflected on his lifelong interest in social responsibility, finding its roots in his childhood and adolescent experiences.

John Priebe responded to the first installment of ASQ’s Global State of Quality research—a panoramic view of how organizations worldwide run their quality function. He noted that 68% of organizations don’t share quality metrics with the public, which can cause problems of transparency. Rajan Thiyagarajan also wrote about The Global State of Quality Research, noting its futuristic scope.  And Bob Mitchell wrote about the important of service to organizations, as noted in the research.

Speaking of the future of quality, Dr. Lotto Lai sees social media playing a major part in the future of the field, while Daniel Zrymiak looks to a return to artisan skills.

Happy reading!

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