Cultural Barriers Companies Face When Trying to Strengthen a Culture of Quality

This is a guest post by James Lawther, who describes himself as a middle-aged middle-manager. To reach this highly elevated position he has worked for multiple organizations, from supermarkets to tax collectors in a host of operational roles, including running the night shift for a frozen pea packing factory and doing operational research for a credit card company.

Based in the U.K., James is also an ASQ Influential Voice blogger and writes about quality issues at

I was once told that beliefs drive behavior. That seems to be a sensible assertion. There may be other factors–habit for example–but I can’t think of a stronger one. If you take that thought and add that culture is the sum of all the ways people behave in an organization, then it is easy to make the mental leap that beliefs also drive culture.
To change a culture you need to understand and change its beliefs.

What is a belief?
A belief is something that we think is true, even though we have no evidence or absolute proof of that fact.

There are lots of management beliefs that we think will drive a business forward. But if you dig a little deeper you will see they do the exact opposite.

Let me give you a handful of examples, a belief, an alternative view and a piece of evidence.

Have a read and ask yourself if these beliefs good for our organizations. Or is there enough evidence to support an alternative view?

Belief – We need short-term targets
If we have short-term targets we will strive to hit them. They keep us on the boil and give us management credibility. If we hit all our targets we will be an excellent business over the long term.
Alternative view – Short-term targets drive short termism. It is easy hit this quarter’s numbers by mortgaging next quarter. Repeatedly hitting short-term targets does little for long term improvement.

Does Jeff Bezos take a short-term view of Amazon’s performance?
Belief – We must have centers of excellence
If all our functions are excellent we will have an excellent business.
Alternative view – Striving for functional excellence quickly pits functions against each other. This just causes friction and rivalry. What is really important is how the functions work together, not individually. Functional excellence does little for teamwork.

Did inter-functional rivalry between defense agencies help the September 11 attacks?
Belief – Failure is bad
We must not fail. Failure is just another word for poor performance. No great business can allow poor performance. Failure is a sign of weakness.
Alternative view – The only way we really learn anything new is if we fail. The only way to learn how to ride a bike is to fall off one. It is easy to avoid failure – stick with want you know – but if you don’t try anything new, how will you ever learn or improve?

What did failure do for James Dyson?
Belief – We must manage the performance of our staff
If we have the best individuals then we will have the best organisation. We should actively “performance manage” our staff to make sure we get the best out of them.
Alternative view – performance management only ever results in fear or jealousy. People are either scared for their jobs or jealous of the bonuses awarded to “high performers.” Both of these emotions are hugely destructive. They do nothing at all for organizational improvement.

What did 10 years of performance management do for Microsoft?
Belief – Our people must be productive
The best way to maximize efficiency is to sweat the “human capital.” We must get the most possible out of our people.

Alternative view – If your staff are absolutely focused on their day job, you don’t give them any capacity to do anything else. Your staff are the people who are best placed to improve their work, they understand it best of all. Shouldn’t you give them the time to do that?

Where would Google be without 20% time?
Belief – We should use current best practice
We should incorporate the latest cutting-edge thinking into our business. If we don’t include it, then our competitors will.
Alternative view – if you constantly switch approaches and strategies you will never implement any of them well. Current best practice never lasts long. There is always a shiny new approach that is guaranteed results, until a better idea comes along. Success comes from sticking with an approach, not continually rolling out the latest approach.
Why are there so many different approaches to quality management?

Beliefs are insidious
They are everywhere, we take them for granted and they reinforce each other. How about adding the following to the list?
• Managers should direct – how about they support?
• We must incentivize our staff – do you need incentives?
• We need more leaders – how about fewer good ones?
• We must benchmark performance – wouldn’t your effort be better spent on improvement?
How many other beliefs could you add to the list?

The problem with beliefs
If you really want a quality culture, you have to challenge and change the incumbent belief system that is getting in the way.

Of course it isn’t that easy. The really tough – but hardly surprising – thing about beliefs is that we all have them and we are all blindsided by them. What about the beliefs I put forward? Are mine any more robust than the incumbent ones? What does the evidence suggest? Or perhaps a better question would be…

What do you believe?

Posted in Uncategorized, culture | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

2016 Manufacturing Outlook Survey: Qualified Applicants Wanted

An increasing number of U.S. manufacturers now struggle to find qualified applicants for open positions, according to the ASQ 2016 Manufacturing Outlook Survey.

What did respondents give for the biggest challenges when hiring for a vacant position? The lack of qualified applicants, followed by the time it takes to hire a new employee. Lack of budget to fill open positions also was a hurdle for manufacturers.

In order to help find skilled applicants, 55 percent of manufacturers say they’ve hired an agency and 41 percent are working with local colleges on programs that teach the required skills.

While manufacturers are split on the impact retirements will have on their organizations or quality, the overwhelming majority rely on on-the-job training to transfer knowledge from retiring workers to new employees. Company-provided classroom training and training through a third-party are less common.

Although the respondents are less confident in the economy compared to past years, the majority expect their organization to increase salaries. And, according to the data, while 19 percent of manufacturers expect their organization to reduce staff, 81 percent expect to maintain current staffing levels or hire additional staff.

Posted in Uncategorized, conferences | Comments Off

ISO 9001:2015 Infographics

Check out these infographics on ISO 9001:2015! These are designed to help spread the word about the new revision and the ways ASQ can help you and your organization adjust. The straightforward answers about the differences between this revision and the previous make it a handy reference on the basics of ISO 9001:2015. Download your copy!

Note: the content of both versions is the same.
Infographic on ISO 9001 – Version 1
Infographic on ISO 9001 – Version 2

Posted in Standards, Uncategorized, iso 9000 | 3 Comments

Are Professional Associations Built to Exist in 2066?

My name is Shontra Powell and I’m privileged to serve as ASQ’s new Chief Operating Officer.

I am blessed to have enjoyed increasing responsibilities of leadership over my 25 year career in for-profit business. It is my desire to leverage this perspective to further develop my offerings as a leader with impact. This desire has led to my career advancement at ASQ—a non-profit with mission-focused work.

In the new economy, there is an opportunity for leaders to connect the historical gap between commercial interests and social impact. I believe that I am in the right place, at the right time, to sharpen my understanding of this new leadership opportunity, and to grow my offerings to the society with rich and practical experience.

In recent months, I have given a lot of thought to the biggest challenges facing today’s associations, including ASQ. In this essay, I share my perspective—and vision—for the future of the association, including, of course, ASQ. Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are my own, and don’t necessarily reflect those of ASQ.

Professional, or trade, associations have been in existence since the early 19th century. These groups usually formed usually as a nonprofit organization that existed to further a profession, or the interests of the individuals engaged in that profession, as well as the public interest. Today, there are more than 92,000 associations in the U.S., many of which are based in the U.S. association capital of Washington D.C.

A few dynamics can shape the story for associations in the future:

1) The speed at which data and information is developed outpaces a professional’s ability to integrate diverse points of consideration within a mental model for the timely formulation of opinion, decision and use.
2) The increasing acknowledgment of social connectivity as a psychological factor for well-being; and new models for connection replacing old models (i.e., from dinner meetings to WhatsApp).
3) The evolution of what it means to be mission-driven, and what it means to become a member; and the currency/cost of joining.
4) The global body of knowledge serves as the new norm for problem solving.

When asking the members of a particular association on why they are members, clear themes take shape. Members seek their own growth personally and professionally, and see the association as a key resource. Also, members express an interest in being a part of a community, and based on age demographics, this can range from a “physical group” that I participate with to “the knowledge that I am connected” to a mission.

With consideration for the now economy, members would prefer a real-time channel of information that connects them to a body of knowledge, based on what they are seeking at a given point in time.

Members will have a new paradigm for serving their role of member.

Members will no longer see value in paying to participate in dinners and conferences as the norm for receiving impactful developments in their field of interest, and, instead, members will require intellectual insights that can help them to perform better in their profession, instantaneously.

The association of the future will shift from “body of knowledge” – accessible via a portal on a website and pruned regularly to “channels of discussion” –latest and best, 24×7.

Leveraging the amalgamation of a … Google-like content database + Sirius-like frequency of discussion + LinkedIn-like connections + Facebook-like personas + Open-source cross-geography access for problem-solving, the association of the future will further the advancement of professionals by extending their knowledge base via a respected community of participants.

The membership model shifts would include…

Annual fees and conferences are deemphasized and “value of contribution” becomes the new currency (called breakthrough equity). A member would earn breakthrough equity as a rating from global peers within the connected community (similar to a “like” on Facebook). This equity would be the cost of participation (or invitation) to mission-driven, global conferences and other thought leadership forums.

Association members are asking for “just-in-time” information and “how-to” guides today. The challenge for many associations is that this new requirement must be supported by a robust technology capability and systematized information; all of which have not been a traditional strength, or investment. In short, many desire to be the “Google” for the knowledge that they value; however, they fall within a chasm between their current state and this vision.

Macroeconomic trends will inevitably impact the evolution of professional associations. If they take a strategy focused on building a robust future model, however, we will see associations in the future. The future association will be designed to serve and strengthen the knowledge worker who is seeking advancement of mission and increased impact on his or her field of study, science, government, and society.

What’s your future vision for the associations you take part in—whether they are ASQ or another group?

Posted in ASQ, Current Events, Customer Service, Uncategorized, associations, social media | Tagged , | 12 Comments

ASQ Survey: STEM Careers and Teaching

“While STEM careers like engineering and software development are getting more well-deserved attention in recent years, it’s STEM teachers who will equip our youth with the knowledge and skills to gather and evaluate evidence, make sense of information across a wide range of fields, and solve tough problems” – William Troy, ASQ CEO

Many experts agree that science education is essential—unfortunately, there’s less consensus about the value of education as a career.  Although 90% of parents would encourage their children to pursue a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career, 87% say they would be concerned if their child decided to pursue a career as a K-12 STEM teacher, according to an online survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of ASQ in January. The survey was fielded to 644 parents of children under 18 living in the household.
Only 9% of parents would encourage their children to pursue STEM teaching as a career, according to the survey. The top three careers they would desire their children to pursue include:
• Engineering – 50%
• Doctor – 41%
• Computer/IT analyst – 27%

In a separate survey conducted by ASQ, K-12 educators indicated which STEM carrier they would encourage their own children to pursue:
• Engineering – 74 %
• Scientist – 44%
• Computer/IT analyst – 33%
• STEM Teacher – 29%

Why are parents and educators so hesitant to encourage their children to pursue a STEM teaching career? Pay. According to the Harris survey of parents:
• 70% of parents and 77% of educators polled by ASQ worry their child may not make enough money as a teacher.
• 69% of parents and 82% of educators are concerned that STEM teachers may not be compensated enough for their heavy workloads.
• 65% of parents say that a STEM teaching career may not be worth the cost of a college degree.
• 67% of educators say that STEM teaching positions may not offer a path for career advancement.

Key takeaways? Financial incentives, such as higher salaries, career growth opportunities, and college scholarships for STEM careers, would make STEM teaching more attractive to parents and educators.

What do you think should be done to encourage children to pursue a STEM teaching career?  Would better compensation for STEM educators truly change the current perception of this career?
Posted in STEM, Uncategorized, career, engineering, engineers | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Roundtable: Influential Voices on Careers in Quality

Every month, ASQ selects a quality-themed topic or question for Influential Voices bloggers to discuss as part of a round table. For February’s Influential Voices round table, careers in quality, we asked our bloggers three questions:

  • Where do you plan to take your career in 2016?
  • What’s your view of careers in quality today—what challenges is this field facing?
  • How can someone starting out in quality succeed?
  • Here is what a few of them had to say:

    Suresh Lulla has been a Quality Management consultant and trainer for nearly three decades. He is the founder of Qimpro, whose mission is building brand made in India. He blogs at

    I will focus on the digital customer; offering Quality Management services that are better, faster, cheaper and different! I will write stories that are catalyzed by my experiences in Quality Management consulting I will avoid travel, to reduce my carbon footprint.
    Quality professionals must proactively court digital customers. This will require proficient Knowledge Management. In turn, this knowledge must feed into the Product Development processes in order to deliver better, faster, cheaper and different results! Quality professionals should be adept at global soft skills. Geographical boundaries have dissolved. Will Quality professionals be a threat to Marketing?

    My prescription for someone starting out in Quality is simple: Make understanding customer needs your obsession, learn to communicate customer needs to the Product Development team, learn to map processes and rid the subject processes of waste and wasteful work, and treat the workers with dignity.

    To read more feedback from Suresh, visit his blog.

    Luigi Sillé is the Quality Manager at Red Cross Blood Bank Foundation in Curaçao, an island in the Caribbean.  He has been a senior ASQ member since 2014, and blogs at

    Being competitive is the only way organizations can survive in the future.
    This can be done through creativity and innovation.  Through customer surveys and brainstorming sessions, quality professionals can guarantee continuous improvement. This allows us to anticipate the needs and wants of our clients.

    To read more feedback from Luigi, visit his blog.

    Ted Hessing owns, a website with hundreds of articles dedicated to Six Sigma training techniques and methods. He blogs at

    In an effort to reduce the sheer volume, I focused on the 80-20 principle; what are the primary drivers that would enable success. This is what I came up with in no specific order;
    1. Read.
    2. Find mentors.
    3. When in doubt, solve a problem for someone else.
    That’s it. That’s the advice I will give my own children as they grow up.

    To read more feedback from Ted, visit his blog.

    Robert Mitchell retired from 3M last June, where he was known as “Quality Bob.”  He has been an ASQ member for over three decades, and recently moved to Phoenix, where he runs a strategic quality leadership consulting business, QualityBob®Consulting.  He blogs at

    Thirty+ years of ASQ membership, participation on various ASQ National committees, member-leadership roles in ASQ Divisions and Sections, numerous papers presented at the World Conference of Quality and Improvement (WCQI), membership in the Performance Excellence Network (PEN) and service as a Baldrige Evaluator to the state of Minnesota, all played important roles in broadening my professional network leading to professional growth.

    My most cherished role is that of mentor and coach. I am so proud to have helped influence the careers and professional growth of my direct reports and mentees, and to have helped shape and sustain the business success of my internal clients and external organizations.

    To today’s students and apprentices of quality, I encourage you to seek out a trusted mentor, participate in professional member societies of quality and organizational excellence, contribute your knowledge, skills, talents and passion to local communities and non-profits, and engage in special projects to broaden your experiences.

    To read more feedback from Bob, visit his blog.

    Nicole Radziwill received her Ph.D in Quality from Indiana State and now teaches in the Department of Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT) at James Madison University (JMU). She blogs at

    Just starting out in quality? My advice is to get a technical degree (science, math, or engineering) which will provide you with a solid foundation for understanding the new modes of production that are on the horizon. Industrial engineering, operations research, industrial design, and mechanical engineering are great fits for someone who wants a career in quality, as are statistics, data science, manufacturing engineering, and telecommunications.

    Cybersecurity and intelligence will become increasingly more central to quality management, so these are also good directions to take. Or, consider applying for an interdisciplinary program like JMU’s Integrated Science and Technology where I teach. We’re developing a new 21-credit sector right now where you can study EVERYTHING in the list above! Also, certifications are a plus, but in addition to completing training programs be sure to get formally certified by a professional organization to make sure that your credentials are widely recognized (e.g. through ASQ and ATMAE).

    To read more feedback from Nicole, visit her blog.

    Sunil Kaushik has more than a decade of experience in project and quality management with Fortune 100 companies. His next project is a round-the-world bicycle tour with a mission to train as many schools and universities on quality along the way. He blogs at

    Sunil shared some of his professional goals for the year 2016 with this impressive list:
    • “Solve 100 high-impact Lean Six Sigma problems through TRIZ. The more problems I solve using TRIZ I wonder why is not as popular as Lean or Six Sigma, and the solutions are straight forward and it can work 10 times faster than Six Sigma projects.
    • Train TRIZ in at least 20 schools/Universities around the world. The beauty of TRIZ is, it is fun, simple and can help kids from the age of 10 start innovating and solving day-to-day problems. I just completed two in Thailand and 18 more to go.
    • Interview 20 top quality management professionals from different domains. This would be basically to understand their problem solving approach, how each industry operates, what kind of role does geography and culture play on quality management.
    • Publish a Book – It would be a fusion of my travel adventures, quality and the problem/opportunities I have observed on the route that might be a good start-up opportunity.
    • Publish white papers and articles – Last year I had an opportunity to publish eight papers with quality journals.  Now being unemployed, I have more time and should be able to publish more and contribute more to quality.
    • Conduct free Six Sigma Black Belt workshops for companies and universities.
    • 10 day Vipassana – I will be attending the 10-day Vipassana course in Vietnam, which is one of the items that has been pending for the past three years. Being a minimalist, this course will help me in cleansing my mind, staying focused, and enhancing my creativity.”

    To read more feedback from Sunil, visit his blog.

    If you’d like to take part in future View From the Q roundtables, please contact for more information.

    Posted in Quality, Uncategorized, career | Tagged , | 2 Comments

    Evolving Quality to Enable and Support a Global Digital Organization

    This is a guest post by Prem Ranganath, a senior director and global head of IT delivery excellence and risk assurance at Quintiles Inc. He is passionate about introducing a quality mindset and practices in school from kindergarten so that quality is ingrained into interactions and decisions early on. Prem teaches a graduate level course on software quality and product management at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. He blogs at The Art of Quality.

    As a champion for quality and continuous improvement, it is always interesting to use the future lens to predict where quality is headed. While the perspectives I share here are from an IT organization’s perspective, I believe that many of the trends I refer to are applicable to all functions and industries.

    In my experience, the following are the top three trends that are shaping the future of quality in IT, based on current and emerging customer expectations.

    1. Quality has a strategic role in enabling successful digitization and digital product management

    While the aspiration for digitization has been in corporate corridors for several years, along with some pockets of accomplishment to tout, there is a more concerted understanding now as to what it really takes to become digital.

    We know that becoming a truly digital enterprise requires a committed transformation. Building, sustaining, and scaling this transformation across functions and/or geographies is not merely a technology problem.  It is evident that a successful digital transformation requires meticulous orchestration of peoples’ capabilities, processes, data, and cultural factors. Digital transformation also requires the coordination and balancing of a dual enterprise model (innovative digital organization and business-as-usual components). These factors must be managed and ensure that customers’ quality of experience is not compromised.

    The quality organization can be an enabling force in driving change with a keen eye on institutionalizing a culture of quality. A critical factor for this cultural shift is to enable a shared commitment to quality and doing away with any reminiscence of a siloed approach to quality.

    2. Focusing on a Minimum Acceptable Product (MAP) is important for Minimum Viable Products (MVP) to succeed

    The Lean Startup movement  is seeing rapid adoption in large enterprises. There are several case studies and metrics to show that it is possible to scale the lean startup framework within large organizations. The enterprise class lean startup has led some people to assume that this is an opportunity to eliminate disciplined processes and deliverables, although this is not true.

    The viability (MVP) of an idea is an important consideration to evolve and validate through experimentation. However, as validated ideas enter the mainstream of development and scale, the need to ensure the acceptability (MAP) of the product by customers requires an adequate blend of agility and experimentation in defining, implementing, and improving processes and practices.

    A dual enterprise model cannot be successful by decoupling the lean mindset and MVP from the primary delivery framework and methods. The lean startup principles and Lean Startup Canvas are simple and proven to be successful when they are integrated into an organization’s delivery framework. It is important not to create a divide (or even the perception of a divide) in an organization by requiring one part of the organization to adopt lean startup, while insisting that another stick to legacy or a homegrown hybrid framework.

    Integrating lean startup principles and enabling the mindset of outcome-driven teams within a large organization can be very interesting and rewarding. The integrated model can be a great opportunity to blend agility with discipline, and the quality organization can be an important influencer, enabler, and advocate for this change.

    3. Expectations for quality are increasingly focused on collective experiences

    In an increasingly connected and cloud-enabled world, the scope of what we have known to represent “quality”’ has changed. Quality is no longer a space that is centered only on Total Quality Management (TQM) principles and software engineering practices.

    In recent years, quality has begun to represent the convergence of TQM, software engineering, user experience, security (cyber and other), and risk management. A growing recognition and acceptance that a culture of quality is the critical factor that enables quality to be organically integrated into practices, deliverables, and decisions. If this factor is not prioritized, the odds of seeing lasting success with product and service quality will be severely diminished.  Not even the “coolest” of methodologies and tools can improve product quality if the softer aspects, including the enablement of a culture of quality, are not addressed.

    As mentioned in #1 above, as customers’ expectations for quality have shifted from the product or service to the quality of collective experiences (product or service quality, interactions, decisions deliverables, value realization), it is timely for quality organizations to revisit their objectives and engagement model. To provide assurance on the collective experience, it is important for quality consultants and practitioners to transcend the traditional software engineering view of quality and revisit the other facets of what represents quality.

    Posted in Quality, lean | 5 Comments

    Changing Company Culture: December Round Up

    Luciana Paulise, ASQ Influential Voices blogger, reflects on what determines organizational culture and how factors define a company’s culture in a recent blog post. She concludes that company culture is modeled on top management behavior, as they control which habits and behaviors are rewarded or punished.   Listing four human types of intelligence, Luciana emphasizes that leaders must first change their behavior, and “walk the talk” if they want to change the entire company culture.

    Throughout the month of December, ASQ Influential Voices bloggers contributed their thoughts on how culture is changed within an entire organizations in response Luciana’s ideas.

    John Hunter posts in his blog that for significant changes to culture, transformation of the individual is required. Citing W. Edwards Deming, John states that changes to the culture come from significant changes in how people think.

    Daniel Zrymiak recommends that leaders apply the AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Decisions, and Actions) method in order to change the culture of quality within an organization. Expanding on these four points, Dan notes that there are no immediate solutions, and incremental improvements must be reinforced with each resolved issue.

    Pam Schrodt suggests that companies center on understanding and respecting people to create a workplace that promotes cooperation to reach goals.  She also provides links to a helpful video and a previous blog on the topic.

    Manu Vora brings his decades of professional experience in his perspective on strengthening a culture of quality: leadership commitment, engagement, involvement, and support are crucial in creating Zero Defects Organization Culture.

    Luciana Paulise, ASQ Influential Voices blogger, reflects on what determines organizational culture and how factors define a company’s culture in a recent blog post. She concludes that company culture is modeled on top management behavior, as they control which habits and behaviors are rewarded or punished.   Listing four human types of intelligence, Luciana emphasizes that leaders must first change their behavior, and “walk the talk” if they want to change the entire company culture.

    Throughout the month of December, ASQ Influential Voices bloggers contributed their thoughts on how culture is changed within an entire organizations in response Luciana’s ideas.

    John Hunter posts in his blog that for significant changes to culture, transformation of the individual is required. Citing W. Edwards Deming, John states that changes to the culture come from significant changes in how people think.

    Daniel Zrymiak recommends that leaders apply the AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Decisions, and Actions) method in order to change the culture of quality within an organization. Expanding on these four points, Dan notes that there are no immediate solutions, and incremental improvements must be reinforced with each resolved issue.

    Pam Schrodt suggests that companies center on understanding and respecting people to create a workplace that promotes cooperation to reach goals.  She also provides links to a helpful video and a previous blog on the topic.

    Manu Vora brings his decades of professional experience in his perspective on strengthening a culture of quality: leadership commitment, engagement, involvement, and support are crucial in creating Zero Defects Organization Culture.

    Posted in Influential Voices, culture, leadership | Tagged , | 1 Comment

    Top 11 Insights From ASQ’s Future of Quality Study

    Every three years, ASQ publishes a study on the future of quality. The 2015 edition, which you can read here, is unusual in that it’s a compilation of essays mostly from experts outside the field of quality.

    Unlike previous editions of the research, most of the topics are not about quality exactly, but rather about fields that will impact quality directly and indirectly in the next decade. The topics range from city planning to global aerospace and defense, to the Internet.

    In this post we’ve compiled the “key” insights from each of the 11 essays in the Future of Quality research. Interested in reading more? Remember, you can access the entire complication at the Future of Quality site.

    Adaptable leaders must be rewarded on attributes like self-awareness and constant
    learning, not only on meeting a sales quota or exceeding a revenue target.

    Stanley McChrystal and Rodney Evans, from “The Future of Leadership: From Efficiency To Adaptability.”

    Unlike the proprietary counterparts that it soon eclipsed, the Internet has no main menu, no CEO, and no business plan. Anything could be built on top of it without permission of a central authority… To see the multidimensionality of quality in the information space is to understand the breathtaking array of choices and trade offs.

    Jonathan Zittrain, from “The Future of the Internet: Balancing Security With Openness in the Internet of Things.”

    We must also use quality and continuous improvement to eliminate design features or flaws that can be exploited….Interconnectedness…increases the need for quality at the component and the system level, so that errors and failures are eliminated before their effects propagate through the system.”

    Stephen Rosen, from “The Future of Global Aerospace and Defense: Implications of International Trends for Quality.”

    (Smart manufacturing) and the roles for new IT capabilities in a manufacturing enterprise must grow from the interoperation of physical, cyber, and workforce elements… Can enterprise performance with new IT be predicted so that entry points for smart manufacturing systems can be identified?

    Jim Davis, from “The Future of Manufacturing: Briding Seams and Transactions to Integrate Next-Generation Information Technology.”

    Quality concepts and the spirit of continuous improvement will be crucial to consolidating a new culture of public administration.

    Izabel Christina Cotta Matte, from “The Future of Cities: Quality, Planning, and Excellence in Public Sector Management.”

    “The advent of digital technology, big data, and customization will impact education at all levels and of all types…In the future we will have more data about student learning than ever before, and we will have better systems to help us analyze it.”

    JoAnn Sternke, from “The Future of Education: Quality Teachers for the 21st Century.”

    The nature of energy will be shifting from being focused on acquiring and distributing commodity resources to being centered on knowledge-driven and technology-based renewable energy…In the future, buildings will be hubs of energy production and storage as well as consumption.

    Zheng Mingguang, from “The Future of Energy: Long-Term Trends and Global Implications.”

    As the customers’ experience with the product or service develops over time, so they will tend to develop trust and confidence with the brand, provided their experience is positive…Customers don’t know what they need, and different customers perceive their needs based upon their unique psychological experiments.

    Gregory and Andrew Watson, from “The Future of Customer Experience (CEx): CEx Becomes the Dominant Design Force Influencing Markets.”

    The good news is that large, complex, unstructured problems are exactly the type of
    problems that the statistical engineering approach was designed to handle.

    Ronald Snee and Roger Hoerl, “The Future of Quality: Getting Better All the Time.”

    In the highly competitive future environment emerging in the global market, there is a need to develop a concept of quality for sales that has to be practiced in addition to quality for cost.

    Noriaki Kano, from “The Future of Quality: Toward Quality for Sales in Addition to Quality for Cost Through Enhancement of Customer Satisfaction.”

    Less than 15 to 20 percent of the world’s population can afford any of the surgeries of the heart, brain, joint replacement, or those standard in cancer treatment…Scaling health access more broadly moving forward will require rethinking business models and similarly expanding and efficiently utilizing pools of resources.

    Devi Shetty, from “The Future of Healthcare: Toward a Global Medical Universe.”

    Posted in Futures Study | Tagged | Comments Off

    Influential Voices Reaction to Talking Quality to the C-Suite

    November Roundup: The post by Influential Voices blogger Dr. Suresh Gettala, Talking Quality to the C-Suite, looked at how quality professionals, certainly experts in their field, may fall short in selling quality to top management and offered his perspective and advice. Throughout the month of November, ASQ Influential Voices bloggers contributed their ideas on talking to top management about the importance of quality.  This month’s topic certainly generated some very interesting and somewhat diverse opinions.

    Pam Schodt responded that any quality discussion with the C-Suite should be tailored for that audience and provided suggestions for accomplishing that in her post Corporate Communication, 5 Keys to Success.

    Jennifer Stepniowski agreed that getting the attention of senior executives can be challenging and added even more tips in her blog, C-Suite Speak… “Quality.” She advised that quality professionals remember a call to action which needs to be clearly expressed and not just implied.

    Robert Mitchell agreed that quality professionals need to speak the senior executive’s language in his post Talking Quality with the C-Suite.  He wrote that his 34 years of experience in a global manufacturing company echoed and reinforced much of what Dr. Suresh suggested.

    Dr. Manu Vora wrote that the easiest way to connect with C-Suites is to use the cost of quality approach which he explains in his post Talking to the C-Suite About Quality.  He says this tool lets executives know where there is waste in the system and how they can reduce the Cost of Quality through continuous process improvements.

    Nicole Radziwill wrote that it’s important to let the C-Suite know that you can help them leverage their organization’s talent to achieve their goals, then continually build their trust.  In her blog, If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?  A Retrospective, she added that the key to talking quality with the C-Suite is empathy.

    Edwin Garro recalls a fascinating lecture by Deming and his startling answer to an audience member’s question in his college days.  In his blog, Deming and the C-Suite.  A Life Time Lesson for Management and Engineering Students, he writes that Deming’s definition of an effective C-Suite manager was one who understood variation, not one who forgets the voice of the customer, employee and the process itself.

    In her response and blog, AUDIT, a tool to talk with the C-Suite, Jimena Calfa agreed that talking to the C-Suite about Quality is a real challenge as senior executives often consider quality to be a waste of money instead of THE tool to increase profit.

    Tim McMahon wrote that getting executives in your company to want to support and then adopt Lean Thinking may be difficult but not impossible.  In his blog, 5 Ways to Get Management Buy-in: What’s in it for me?, he shares a list of ideas to help you convince your management to start thinking Lean.

    However, John Hunter had a different perspective in his post Making Your Case to Senior Executives.  He believes success will come from concentrating on short term financial measures while also crafting a story to make your case for long term improvements.

    Scott Rutherford also shares a different approach in his post You are not selling Quality to C-Suite. You are selling short-term relief.  While changing corporate behavior from below is challenging, he believes there are ways for quality practitioners to have influence.

    Posted in ASQ, Deming, Influential Voices, Management, Quality, Voice of the Customer, lean | 1 Comment