In June, I asked some admittedly big questions of ASQ Influential Voices bloggers and blog readers.
- What is the most important challenge the quality community faces in ensuring that the value of quality is fully realized for the benefit of society?
- And, what question does the quality community most need answered in order to advance the state of quality practice in the world?
These questions aren’t just an intellectual exercise. Answering them may determine how we shape the future of the quality field. After all, these questions address some of the key findings in ASQ’s recent Global State of Quality research, a global perspective on quality.
The Influential Voices contributed very diverse answers, coming from a variety of industries and countries. Take a look.
Tim McMahon writes about the critical value of the customer—organizations that are customer focused will fare the best. Bob Mitchell, too, speaks to the importance of delivering to customer demands. John Priebe reminds us that quality must do more than conform to “known” customer requirements—quality must address the “unrealized” requirements as well.
John Hunter writes that there are many good ideas—the challenge for quality is getting them implemented. Cesar Diaz Guevara writes about engaging with top management and using strategic and business planning. Guy Wallace advises readers to know stakeholders, competitors, stay flexible, and always answer the question: “What’s in it for me?” when it comes to quality.
Babette Ten Haken urges us to avoid “Band-Aid” solutions to quality dilemmas, and Don Brecken, too, urges quality professionals to avoid simple solutions. Shon Isenhour writes about the importance of successful change initiatives. And Manu Vora poses a variety of questions for quality leaders to consider.
Scott Rutherford dissects lack of leadership in academia and a lack of understanding the quality profession.
Dan Zrymiak writes about the importance for the quality community of speaking and “walking” with one voice. UPDATE: Please see Dan’s comment about a misinterpretation of his post.
Dam writes, “I didn’t encourage anyone to ‘Walk with One Voice.’ Our Challenge: We all must WALK OUR TALK and SPEAK WITH ONE VOICE! Our Question: What can we do today to effectively WALK OUR TALK and SPEAK WITH ONE VOICE? Walking our Talk refers to the concept of following through the ideals and values by which we purport to abide with tangible actions leading to meaningful outcomes. Walking the talk means being conscientious and respectful, and performing work with the care and attention it deserves.”
Michael Noble finds the two question too big to tackle from every industry’s perspective, so he addresses challenges faced by his industry—medical laboratory quality.
New blogger Jeffrey Phillips answers the questions from the perspective of innovation—are quality and innovation friends or enemies?
Jennifer Stepniowski says the biggest challenge for quality is changing consumer behavior—encouraging costumers to buy quality goods, even if they have to pay a little more.
Dr. Lotto Lai writes about quality challenges in China. Chad Walters answers the two questions from the unique perspective of sports organizations (and no surprise, focus on the customer is key for sports, too).
And Anshuman Tiwari writes about maintaining the relevance of the quality field. Many newcomers to quality don’t necessarily have “quality” in their title—is this a risk or a benefit?
On a different note, Jimena Calfa responded to another blog post in June—how do you explain your job in quality to people outside the field? Jimena wrote about explaining what goes into being quality assurance engineer. And Rajan Thiyagarajan asks people to consider everyday tasks when explaining quality. After all, when making breakfast or packing for a trip, we all want a “quality” result.