Quality In Fields “Beyond” Quality

Last month, ASQ headquarters opened our doors to visitors as part of an innovative weekend event called Doors Open. Many buildings in downtown Milwaukee, where we’re headquartered, offered behind-the-scenes tours to visitors. (Did you know ASQ offices are in a 100+ year-old building that was designed by  world-renowned architect Daniel Burnham and once housed the department store Gimbels?)

ASQ HQ is always open to our members, so it was nice to see a community resource brought “home” in a new and different way.ASQ building

Not surprisingly, visitors who stopped by ASQ asked not only about the building, but also about what ASQ does. Most didn’t work in the quality field, but some knew that quality had something to do with quality control in manufacturing. Many were surprised that quality has expanded far beyond manufacturing—into healthcare, education, service, government, and beyond.

Let’s talk about that “beyond”—think social responsibility and innovation, for example. Later this month, ASQ will be launching a redesigned website for TheSRO—the Socially Responsible Organization, a movement that aims to highlight the connection between social responsibility with quality.

Investing in quality principles such as continual improvement and reduction of errors and waste contributes to an organization’s social responsibility goals. The concepts and tools of quality can help any organization realize its SR objectives and goals.

As for innovation, a group of thought leaders recently launched ASQ’s innovation interest group—a sort of think tank for developing the ASQ body of knowledge in innovation management and spreading the knowledge of innovation tools.

And some of you already know about an interest group for quality in athletics and a proposed customer service quality body of knowledge.

All of these topics are seemingly “far” from quality’s manufacturing roots—yet, I think, vital to the future of the quality field in increasing its impact.

What new fields or disciplines could most reap the benefits of quality tools and techniques?

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