ASQ Global State of Quality 2 Survey

This is a guest post by Laurel Nelson-Rowe, ASQ managing director.

The Quality Community is one that — to a person, or across a global enterprise — delves into data, feasts on facts, trounces on trends, and puts lazer beam focus on benchmarks. All that and more occurred with the release of the ASQ Global State of Quality Research in 2013. The series of quantitative and qualitative reports, the panel discussions around the world, the media reports, download after download of the data, information graphics — it all seemed to add up to success and impact for the work, its sponsors and stakeholders.

Previous View from the Q’s by now-retired ASQ CEO Paul Borawski highlighted the importance and scope of the inaugural research; ASQ Influential Voices picked up some of its data points and themes as well. After all, where else can you compare quality organization structures, governance, training, industry standards, pay scales and incentives, measurement system models from 22 countries? Those topics were just a few highlighted in numbers, graphs and case studies.
Well, that was then. This is now. And ASQ and our Global State research partner, APQC, need your very active engagement to get the word out and get response rates up from companies and institutions around the world in the ASQ Global State of Quality 2 survey. The link is www.apqc.org/ASQ_GSQ_Survey_2. Additional information on the research can be found at globalstateofquality.org, where the qualitative and quantitative data will be available following data collection. The call-to-action is clear. It’s up to you to shape the Global State — and check back here for some early returns on the data in the weeks and months to come.

Posted in ASQ, Global State of Quality, Quality, Research, Standards | Tagged | 2 Comments

How to Implement ‘Understanding the Organization and its Context.’

This is a guest post by Allen Gluck, president of ERM31000 Training and Consulting in Spring Valley, NY, and an adjunct professor at Manhattanville School of Business in Purchase, NY. He has a master’s degree in leadership from Bellevue University in Nebraska. Gluck is an ASQ member and a member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO Technical Committee 176 (TAG 176), which develops ISO 9001, and TAG 262, which develops ISO 31000. He may be contacted via his website: www.erm31000.com or at allen.gluck@erm31000.com.

The ISO 9001:2015 revision is bringing big changes.  This post is designed to assist your organization with the implementation of one of the new requirements: Clause 4.1, “Understanding the Organization and its Context.”

The new requirement reads: “The organization shall determine external and internal issues that are relevant to its purpose and its strategic direction and that affect its ability to achieve the intended result(s) of its quality management system.”

In order to explain how to go about making this determination and clarify the purpose it serves, an introduction is in place.

Although it is not obvious to the casual reader, the new standard alludes to decision-making in three places. The first is a quality principle quoted from ISO 9000:2015, namely “evidence-based decision making.” It is not hard to understand that better decisions are made when they are based on evidence rather than by conjecture.

The second almost surreptitious reference to decision-making is found in Clause 0.1, “Addressing risks and opportunities associated with its context and objectives.” Addressing risks means proactively managing uncertainties. The simple meaning of “managing uncertainties” is that decisions should be made with consideration of the possible positive and negative consequences that the uncertain future may bring.

Finally, in Clause 5.1, entitled Leadership and Commitment, we find a requirement for top management: “Ensuring that the quality policy and quality objectives are established for the quality management system and are compatible with the context and strategic direction of the organization.” Top management’s most basic role is strategic decision-making for the organization.

In essence, all three references require that informed decisions are to be made based on some kind of evidence. Where is this evidence to be found? All the evidence you’ll ever need is available in the context of your organization, whether it be external or internal.

What is the context of an organization? Let’s begin with examples of your internal context. Your company’s vision, mission, strategic objectives and direction, your org chart, SOPs, resources, culture, contractual relationships – these and more, are factors you should consider when making all decisions and when addressing uncertainties about the future.

On the other hand, the legal, social, political, regulatory, financial, economic, key drivers, trends, natural and competitive environment, and perceptions of external stakeholders (or interested parties) are all part of your external context. Each of these factors should be considered in the course of business leadership, when managing risk or uncertainty, and when making decisions that may affect the quality or service you provide.

One of the concerns raised about this new requirement is related to auditing. How can an auditor accurately audit context? What set of requirements does he or she audit against? Furthermore, will an omission from this potentially endless list yield many new non-conformances?

Quality management systems are built on PDCA, also known as the Deming cycle. “Understanding the organization and its context” are part and parcel of this process of continual improvement. As such, it is never complete on the first go-around. Indeed, the new standard states, “The organization shall monitor and review information about these external and internal issues,” which clearly indicates the standard experts’ broad understanding that context is a moving target.

As such, evidence of an ongoing process to establish and understand an organization’s context is absolutely satisfactory to satisfy an audit to these requirements. Only an egregious omission could legitimately be viewed as a non-conformance by an auditor who has trained for proficiency to this standard.

In summary:

  • Quality decisions are no different than any other decisions; uncertainties may help or hinder your objectives.
  • Your best decisions are based on the best available evidence.
  • Most of this evidence which you require is readily available within:

–        your organization’s external and internal context

–        the context and content of your “interested parties”

  • This process is auditable

Thank you to the hard-working men and women of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to TC 176 for their years of volunteer effort resulting in the new ISO 9001 standard.

Posted in Deming, Management, Quality, Standards, iso 9000 | Tagged | 2 Comments

September Roundup – Does Mission Matter?

This guest post by Pat La Londe, ASQ Fellow and incoming ASQ board chair, asked the question how often is a company’s mission considered when choosing a retailer or business partner.  Following a global brand and reputation study, ASQ found that many respondents rated organizational mission as highly important in their consideration.
Throughout the month of September and into October, ASQ bloggers reflected on mission and the value placed on it.

Blogger Tim McMahon responded that vision, leadership and values are key, that companies must determine what its vision and direction will be, and management must decide what core elements are to be deployed.
Daniel Zrymiak did not consider that mission mattered since missions are aspirational. He wrote that he is more inclined to look at the track record and reputation as a predictor of future expectations.
Scott Rutherford also took issue with some aspects of Pat’s blog, adding that he had a different take of Mission, Vision and Values.  “Maybe it’s me but I was taught that an organization’s vision is what they strive to be and the mission is the how the organization executes the vision…Vision is aspirational, mission is clarity, and values are the bedrock from which to move.”

John Hunter writes that it doesn’t matter if it is just words on paper that has no impact on how business is done. And sadly that is more common than having a mission that actually matters because it actually guides how decisions are made and how the business delivers products and services.

Bob Mitchell writes that his experience in leading the ASQ Statistics Division, the Minnesota Section of ASQ and his 34 years professional work experience reinforces the importance of an understood, well-deployed, consistent mission to developing the organization’s strategic plan and then working the resulting business plans to achieve excellence.

Dr. Lotto Lai agreed that looking at vision, values and leadershipis a good place to begin and writes about the history of Hong Kong Science Park and how it has evolved over the last 14 years.

Luciana Paulise suggests that mission does matter and it should start working together with the purpose the new sharing economy.  She added that more and more companies are starting to focus not only on defining a mission, but also a purpose, which emphasize how the organization should view and conduct itself.

Author Aimee Siegler concluded that mission does matter and there is no way you’re going to be able to get where you’re trying to go if you don’t know why you’re going there.

Dr. Manu Vora concurred with Pat’s views and offered that the mission should be realistic and not a pie-in-the-sky statement.

Other Influential Voices Blog Responses:

Rajan Thiyagarajan responded to Arun Hanrahan’s post on Knowledge Management commenting on recent trends that are helping organizations transform knowledge management.

One Response to How Does Knowledge Management Complement Quality?

1. Jim Judge says:

September 16, 2015 at 10:22 am

Interesting that this is capturing an audience once again. In 2000 my Masters Thesis was on implementing a KM system in a QA environment. Actually bought the software and tried to make it work. Discovered that folks didn’t want to share their knowledge as that was considered the key to them keeping their jobs.

Hope that this generation will accept the concept now. There are so many advantages.

Posted in ASQ, Baldrige, Management, Quality, excellence, leadership | Comments Off

A Day With the Future of Quality

Edwin Garro is an ASQ Fellow and founding member of ASQ Section 6000, Costa Rica. He pioneered ASQ certifications in Central America. Currently he serves in ASQ’s awards board. He is an ASQ CQE, CQM/OE, CQI, CQA, CSSGB and CSSBB. He is the CEO of PXS, a leading consulting firm with offices in Costa Rica and Colombia. He has a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the Costa Rica Institute of Technology, and a M.S. in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

In August of this year, I visited a junior high school class at the San Rafael de Poás Technical High School, in the mountains of Alajuela, Costa Rica. This is not a typical junior class; these 15-   and 16- year olds will graduate in 2017 with a technical degree in Quality and Productivity.

It was not my first visit to the class.  Ever since I discovered this new Quality and Productivity program, I have been fascinated by it.  These remarkable teens will certainly play a role in the future of our profession.

The Quality and Productivity Technical Program

As a whole, the cluster of medical devices companies is the largest exporter in Costa Rica. All the big names are here, Baxter, Boston Scientific, Abbott, Hospira, Hologic, Moog, just to name a few. Over the years, many Costa Rican professionals have specialized in “all things FDA,” and being ASQ certified is a formal requirement in many of these firms.

One area in which there is still a shortage of manpower is quality technicians. The Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) took the  concerns of the customer (general managers of the medical devices cluster) and worked with the National Education Ministry (MEP, Ministerio de Educación Pública in Spanish) to create  this very innovative program.

Instead of reinforcing the existing associate degrees, they decided to create a high school technical degree in Quality and Productivity. Over a three-year period, students will receive 2,880 hours of education in management fundamentals, process improvement, quality control, quality enterprises and English. Five technical high schools started the pilot deployment last year; Colegio Técnico de Poás started this academic year. Seven more schools will start in the next two years.

Take a look at the objectives of the program, and keep in mind that the students will still be teenagers when they graduate:

1. Prepare technicians in accordance with the demands of current and future markets.

2. Promote the values and attitudes of quality.

3. Encourage the development of creative and critical thinking structures, which will allow students to deal with the continuous changes in social and economic systems.

4. Stimulate a quality and productivity mindset.

5. Promote quality through Statistical Process Control, local and international standards, the study of waste and the effective use of raw materials, seeking sustainable development with the environment.

Even though there are no graduates yet, companies are already lined up to receive these  students for their technical practice (the last three months of their senior year).

I myself am the product of a technical high school, having studied graphics arts and printing at Don Bosco Technical High School in the early 1980s. I know the impact of this kind of education. My printing background led me my first general manager position, and for the last 16 years, I have owned a successful lithography business.

My meeting with the quality and productivity teens

Every time I arrive at the school, I tell the students and their teacher, Yesenia Alvarado, an industrial engineer by profession and high school teacher by vocation, how much I admire them. They are part of the first truly global generation.  When they enter the job market, their quality knowledge will be a great advantage, even if, as many of them have told me, they go on to college and study something completely different.

During my August visit, I honored a promise I had made last time I came to the school. I told them I would bring all kinds of souvenirs from WQCI in Tennessee. They took my “loot” coming from the booths at exhibit hall, everything from pens to USB memories.

Second I gave them a quick lecture on the future of quality, which is kind of a paradox because they are the future of quality.

Third, and here comes the important part, I made an exercise with them. I asked them about their worries, about how they see the future. We made an affinity diagram exercise (see picture left) and after that a multi-voting session. These teenagers, many of them the sons and daughters of coffee production families, are already thinking about their future jobs and their opportunities in life.

Their three main concerns were:

 Lack of good English language skills for the global market

 Unemployment

 Low salaries

At age 15, they are more worried about the global job market than about prom night or first dates.

To encourage them, I told them that it is precisely their quality education and near future technical degree that will guarantee their full employment and market rate salaries, plus I urged them to pursue full college degrees. It was uplifting to see the students demanding better English classes because they know the current four hours per week is not enough to master a second language.

I don’t know what the future will be for these teens, but I do know that their odds are better with such a good education this early in life. The Costa Rican quality and productivity teenagers give hope to our profession.   I view their generation with a lot of optimism and I would be interested to know if there are similar project in other countries.

Posted in Education, Global, Influential Voices, Quality, Training, career, quality tools | Tagged | 2 Comments

November Is World Quality Month — Ideas For Celebrations

Join the Global Quality Community in celebrating the 6th annual World Quality Month in November.  World Quality Month provides a platform for acknowledging the efforts and accomplishments of quality and all who work to make it happen.

By this time, your organization has likely already begun planning the special events you’d like to hold during November.  However, if you are not that far advanced, the World Quality Month Celebration Guide and the World Quality Month Toolkit (in five languages, English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Portuguese) will be a tremendous help in getting you up to speed.It includes sample banners, e-tags, postcards, sample advertisements and power point templates that can all be customized for your organization. Coming soon, a sample World Quality Month proclamation will be added to the toolkit.  Share the wealth of information included in the World Quality Month toolkit with co-workers and others.

In addition, you can find an ROI of Quality fact sheet and a collection of fun quality trivia on the site.

Ideally, you should have a team designated to work on World Quality Month within your organization, determine who will help set up and run the event or events, and have a specific person for each role. Make sure you have backup help as well.

Work with your marketing, communications, or public relations department to create a news release about World Quality Month and quality at your organization.  Prepare information about World Quality Month and any planned events for your internal newsletter and intranet and share them with the editor.  Have employees add “World Quality Month” as a skill on LinkedIn and endorse one another (see the Celebration Guide for details).

You can also encourage your team to submit any quality-themed events taking place in October and November to WorldQualityMonth.org so they can be added to the site calendar. We also invite you to submit your quality success stories.

And remember to have fun!  In October you can also take part in a social media contest, #quality2030, and submit your idea of what quality will look like in the future, on ASQ’s Facebook page (see the complete rules on WorldQualityMonth.org). Three winners will receive a bundle of World Quality Month souvenirs.  Also, we’re offering complimentary World Quality Month magnets in October as well. Again, you can order through the site starting October 1.

Remember–the world is full of organizations dedicated to quality.  This is our month to share our passion for quality with our global colleagues and other business professionals and government leaders from around the world.  It is a time to praise all that has been accomplished so far and dream about what greatness the future may hold.

Posted in Uncategorized, World Quality Month | Tagged | 7 Comments

How Does Knowledge Management Complement Quality?

Arun Hariharan is a quality, knowledge management, and performance management practitioner. He has worked with several large companies and is the founder and CEO of The CPi Coach (cpicoach.webs.com).

His latest book, The Strategic Knowledge Management Handbook, provides “hands on” advice for implementing Knowledge Management (KM) – not merely with technology, but with the more challenging leadership, strategic, and culture / behavior aspects of KM. The primary purpose of this book is to enable the reader to implement a strategic KM program in an organization and derive business results. This book is particularly addressed to CEOs and senior management to help them understand how they can use KM as a strategic tool to achieve their business objectives.  Purchase The Strategic Knowledge Management Handbook from ASQ.

Arun spoke with ASQ about Knowledge Management, how it can be used effectively, and best practices.

What is Knowledge Management (KM)?

KM is an enabler to achieve an organization’s objectives better and faster through an integrated set of initiatives, systems and behavioral interventions – aimed at promoting smooth flow and sharing of knowledge relevant to the organization, and elimination of re-invention.

KM seeks to facilitate the flow of knowledge from where it resides, to where it is required (that is, where it can be applied or used), for achieving the organization’s objectives.

In your experience, what are the challenges that prevent some organizations from achieving results from Knowledge Management? How can these challenges be avoided or overcome?

The root of the challenge is that some organizations and their leaders seem to think that KM is all about technology. Examples abound of companies that have sunk truckloads of money in KM technology such as portals and collaboration tools, but did not get the results that they expected.

In my experience, there are four groups of factors, which I call the four pillars of KM, which will determine whether you get substantial and sustained results from your program. These are – in order of importance – (1) Leadership, people, and culture; (2) Keeping KM relevant to your business; (3) Measurement of KM (you need to measure both the enablers and results); and (4) Standardized KM processes and technology.  Your KM program will give you sustained results only if all four pillars are in place.

Does KM, with its emphasis on knowledge storing and reuse, kill innovation?

No, it doesn’t – KM only kills re-invention. And re-invention is not the same as innovation. If a particular type of work has been done by someone somewhere in the organization (or, ideally, even outside), another person re-inventing it or trying to get results through trial and error methods is not being innovative, but merely wasting their own and the company’s time and resources.

KM seeks to actively promote innovation by encouraging sharing of new ideas and at the same time eliminating re-invention. In fact, KM, by ensuring that your existing organizational knowledge is available in an organized fashion, facilitates further knowledge creation (in other words, innovation).

Our experience shows that every time existing knowledge from the organizational knowledge-base is reused, some new knowledge is created in the process of applying or customizing the existing knowledge to the present situation. Some companies that I work with also have KM initiatives such as IdeaExpress (a scheme for generating innovative ideas from employees), which are nothing but innovation factories.

Can quality and KM complement each other?

Absolutely. While Knowledge Management and quality are distinct disciplines, my experience working with both taught me that there are several ways in which the two can complement each other. Companies that have both a KM program and a quality program have the unique opportunity to get them get in tune with one another.

How KM can help quality: In several companies that I worked with, the KM program frequently helped us to identify potential quality-improvement projects. For example, some of our high-impact Lean Six Sigma projects were identified as a result of our KM program bringing in relevant knowledge in the form of competitor benchmarking information. Some of our best quality-improvement projects started as employee-ideas from our structured idea-generation initiative, a part of the KM program.

Also, successful quality-improvement projects were often done as pilot-projects in one part of the company. Once successful, these projects could be quickly replicated across the company through the best-practice sharing process that is in place thanks to the KM program.

How quality can help KM: On the other hand, we were able to quickly institutionalize best practices identified through the KM program by making them part of standardized business processes. This was possible because the company’s quality program ensured that it had a strong foundation of standardized processes, subject to continuous improvement. Secondly, the quality program ensured that critical business processes are clearly identified and mapped, making it easy to prioritize and focus KM efforts on these processes.

In companies where we implemented lean management, I added “re-invention of the wheel” to the list of different types of waste that lean commonly talks about. And, clearly, re-invention is one of the evils that KM seeks to eliminate.

In several companies, KM and quality are both important components of the business excellence program, and they complement each other beautifully.

The synergy between KM and quality is also borne out by the fact that, several years ago, well known excellence models such as Baldrige and EFQM added KM-related criteria. The revised ISO 9001:2015 also emphasizes the importance of KM in a new clause.

Is KM primarily about technology, or is there a strategic and/or culture aspect to it?

The differences between KM as a strategy and a limited technology-only approach is that a strategic KM Program has the following:

•    Senior management involvement
•    Link with broader organizational priorities
•    KM initiatives (such as knowledge bases, communities of experts and collaboration) centered around pre-defined “mission-critical” areas
•    KM roles clearly defined
•    Close-looped processes for knowledge-sharing and replication in mission-critical areas – not left to choice or chance
•    Technology as an important enabler, but clearly one component  of a larger KM program

On the other hand, a technology-only approach to KM is a narrow view that treats the implementation of some form of technology (usually an intranet / portal with features of document management, storage and collaboration) as the be-all-and-end-all of KM. In such an approach, KM is not linked to organizational priorities or employees’ performance.

Not surprisingly, organizations that take the technology-only view end up getting hardly any results from KM. What is the use of the best technology if we have an organizational culture where people are reluctant to share their knowledge with others, or unwilling to “copy” even proven best practices?

Posted in Knowledge Management, Management, Quality, innovation, leadership | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

August Roundup: Creating a Performance Culture: What Not To Do

Performance culture continues to be a popular topic.  Last month, ASQ Influential Voices blogger James Lawther asked the question, does culture drive behavior and performance?  He concluded it does, yet it doesn’t create a culture of high performance, it creates one of low performance and fear.

Throughout the month, ASQ bloggers reflected on ways to change company culture in a positive direction.  Tim McMahon offered seven practical actions to shape your organizational culture so that it supports Lean.

Daniel Zrymiak wrote if a business culture seeks and rewards legitimate quality and the identification and correction of root causes, that problems will be recognized, integrity will be championed, and whistle blowers will not fear for their jobs.

Nicole Radziwill brought up the question, rather than improving upon poor performance, why not seek out truly amazing performance and then just make more of it?  She lists three steps for creating an innovative performing culture.

Anshuman Tiwari wrote that when judging the impact of culture on performance, time is a very important factor.  A whip-by-the-minute culture can deliver superior performance in the short term but will not sustain.

Luciana Paulise suggests clearly defining what kind of culture you are looking for. Considering the most important things in a company are profits and people, the culture could be focused on making profit, taking care of your people, or both?  If you are brave enough to run for both, she offers her suggestions.

Dr. Suresh Gettala suggested that the first and foremost step of establishing a culture is to check whether or not the organization is ready for a cultural transformation. Manu Vora notes that creating a sense of urgency is key to jump-starting a change initiative.

Pam Schodt added that to keep company culture positive and relevant, employees should be involved in discussions about changing and maintaining that culture.  Company culture is fluid and subject to shift. Management must be vigilant to nurture and protect a positive culture and thereby drive good quality. On that note, John Hunter writes about why CEOs are often not aware of what’s going on in their organization.

César Díaz wrote that a successful culture begins with a common language that everyone use to first communicate positively with each other and then with customers to ensure their satisfaction.  He suggests that everyone end each day with this question, “What actions did I do this day to support the improvement of the culture of my organization? Prem Ranganath adds that quality is a set of collective experiences.

Dr. Lotto Lai shared his views on how to establish performance culture including an interesting workshop at his division, “Team Synergy and Creative Problem Solving.”

Sunil Kaushik articulated about the three types of intrinsic motivators (autonomy, purpose and mastery), and answered the question, what kind of work environment is the best fit for such a model?

Finally, Edwin Garro gives a real-world example of creating a performance culture in a small print shop in Costa Rica.

Comments regarding Creating a Performance Culture: What Not To Do

Suresh Lulla says:

August 10, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Building a culture is synonymous to building positive attitudes.  But do you know anyone who has been able to change attitudes?  HR professionals advocate ABC. First change Attitude; Behavior will then change; Commitment will be positive thereafter. Never works. But we continue this ‘mantra’ like a broken record.  Try the reverse CBA instead. Get Commitment (to chronic problems) first; define change in Behavior; and if you are lucky, Attitude may change over extended time.

P.A.Ipolito says:

August 19, 2015 at 9:08 am

I have been hearing about culture change for over 30 years. I have yet to see a shred of evidence it exists. I’m sure there are places where it may have worked under the reign of a cruel but fair leader but the gains never hold. In fact, ANY gain in quality is a sandcastle on a beach. How can a culture change take root when top management turns over every three to five years

Anna says:

August 19, 2015 at 2:26 pm

I agree where it says “poor performance plus excuses equals good performance.  Perception becomes reality.

Mike Harkins says:

August 19, 2015 at 2:40 pm

I’m glad this article quotes Deming at the end.  Improving performance of the individual does not necessarily improve the performance of the system.  It can only be done by management transformation, which was one of Deming’s most important teachings.

Posted in Uncategorized, culture | Tagged | 1 Comment

Does Mission Matter?

This is a guest post by Pat La Londe, ASQ Fellow and incoming ASQ board chair. La Londe is a retired executive in supply chain management with expertise leading teams in all areas of procurement including supplier quality.  She recently retired as an executive from CareFusion, a large medical device company.

How often do you consider a company’s mission when choosing a retailer or a business partner? As it turns out, probably more often than you think. At ASQ, we recently conducted a global brand and reputation study.

One of the most surprising findings of the study is that respondents rated organizational mission as highly important in their consideration of an organization that provides training, certification, membership or books/publications related to quality, continuous improvement or performance excellence.

These results are encouraging us to reflect on the value of ASQ’s mission, and how we’re bringing it to our audience—whether members, customers, or the quality community at large.

First, the ASQ mission is: To increase the use and impact of quality in response to the diverse needs of the world.

As stewards of the global quality movement, ASQ is advancing ideas, tools, techniques, and systems that will help the world meet tomorrow’s critical challenges.  Yet there remain significant opportunities to dramatically and positively impact public thinking around the role of quality.

What are we doing about these opportunities? We have identified the following themes that underscore our mission and developed plans to address them.

•   ASQ is aligned and united to grow and advance the Global Quality Community.

We’re continuing to expand our global footprint with offices in the United States, Mexico, India, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Brazil. Our aim worldwide is to enhance and sustain the role of quality, help those who need quality concepts and tools for professional and organizational success, and to demonstrate the value of quality. This is, of course, in addition to our established geographic, topical, and industry-specific communities that foster career development and facilitate professional networking.

ASQ is committed to and investing in member value, this year and beyond.

In the next several years, we’re making significant technological improvements to our technology infrastructure to improve the customer experience with ASQ. For example, we will be addressing our website experience, expanding offerings available in multiple formats (i.e. hard copy, mobile, Kindle), and optimizing the volume of emails sent from the entire Society.

•   ASQ in 2015 has its challenges, yet is responding, evolving and adapting, to ensure our members’ and customers’ success in a rapidly changing, competitive, global environment.

It’s critical to the future of quality that ASQ continues to evolve and grow with its members and customers to provide them with the up-to-date knowledge and tools. By systematically studying emerging topics and monitoring the future of quality, we’re working to ensure that we respond to the global needs of today and tomorrow.

For example, ASQ will be testing new membership and engagement models and programs, locally and globally, for individuals and organizations over the next year as well as increasing the Society’s attention to leadership and professional development programs. ASQ is also cultivating the next generation of leaders through programs designed for young professionals.

What is your organization’s mission? Do you update and refer to it on a regular basis? All too often, leaders tend to “shelve” the mission after developing it or we take it for granted. Through our research on Culture of Quality, strong leadership is essential to developing and sustaining a culture of quality.

If an organization is seeking to improve its culture of quality, a closer look at the three areas —vision, values and leadership—is likely a good place to begin. I encourage you to take a fresh look.

Posted in Global, Uncategorized, case for quality, culture, transformation | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

What Does “Made In…” Mean To You?

This is a guest post by Laurel Nelson-Rowe, ASQ managing director.

ASQ was among the invitation-only participants at a conference this month in Shenzhen, China, that carried an imposing title: “Huawei Big Quality International Seminar.” The brainchild of Victor Li, vice president, quality and operations, for the multinational telecommunications company, the event had lofty goals. It called together quality experts from a number of nations (China, Germany, Japan, the U.K, and the U.S.) and industries (including academia and business) to help define, map the implications, and create the call-to-action of “Big Quality” for the company and for the universal quality community.

In opening what he called a “milestone meeting,” Li said he hoped the sessions—attended by 50+ Huawei leaders as well as his invited guests—would help “build the foundation of Big Quality” and prompt Huawei thinking, planning, and action in areas such as its culture of quality, management systems, and the capabilities of its people, now and in the future. Li said he envisions an “architecture for Big Quality that will be for the globe, not just one enterprise, not just one supplier, not just one country…Big Quality and Big Quality Management Systems will be systems and services delivered through, accessed in the cloud.”

Li and Huawei are not alone in challenging the industry—and ASQ—to change, to rapidly move the tools, techniques, management, and systems ahead, and to develop new approaches and innovate in the era of big data, Internet of Things, industry 4.0 and cloud computing. In a series of country-specific reports, each speaker described the country’s quality root structure, how far the profession, practice, and the industry have come in their native lands, and the barriers and opportunities facing quality, management systems, business, and economies in the fast-change, technology-infused, big-data driven global economy.

I joined ASQ China General Manager Fred Zhang for a panel discussion where the common ground philosophies and the diverse characteristics of countries and of quality surfaced. We were asked to describe what “Made in ____” (fill in your homeland) means.

I’ve captured some of the words and themes (with input from seminar organizers Jack Pompeo, Huawei director for quality and customer advocacy and ASQ fellow, and  Nigel Croft of TCA Global Ltd, one of the leading authorities on the forthcoming ISO 9001: 2015 standard,):

Assurance
Attention to Detail
Brand Image
Competition
Confidence
Customer-Driven
Design
Efficiency
Ethical
Emotion
Feeling
Genuine
Get-It-Right-The-First-Time
Ingenuity
Innovation
Patriotism
Persistence
Pride
Precision
Process-Driven
Standard
Sustainability
Teamwork
Trust

Perhaps you can match the word or theme to the country for a little mental exercise. Multiple answers per country allowed.

But more importantly, how would you fill in that phrase—“Made in ___”—for your country, your culture, your quality? Did it mean something else yesterday? Do you want it to mean something else tomorrow?

To prep for the Huawei event, I posted a prompt on my LinkedIn profile, asking for answers to what “Made in the USA” means today. Lots of views, not too many takers. Now that I’ve added Big Quality, Big Data, China, Japan, Germany, and some voices, let the games begin.

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July Roundup: Using New Technology in Quality and Beyond

Have you noticed how technology has changed what you do at the office and at home? You probably don’t think about it much, as technology is so seamlessly integrated into our daily lives. Last month, ASQ Influential Voices blogger Manu Vora wrote about experimenting with new technology—namely Google Hangouts on Air—to share knowledge with a wide network of contacts at low cost. In July, ASQ bloggers reflected on how technology helps them as quality professionals—both at work and beyond.

Aimee Siegler lists several ways in which technology has improved her daily life, such as making it possible to take online courses for her MBA. Pam Schodt shares seven practical ways to use the Internet for hobbies and professional development.

Edwin Garro asks some of his university students—Generation X and millennials—for their top-used apps and websites. Luciana Paulise also shares a list of useful apps for quality professionals—and how PDSA fits into their use Rajan Thiyagarajan writes about the power of social media, and Lotto Lai shares how the Hong Kong Society for Quality uses social media.

John Hunter makes the case that the rate at which we incorporate new technology into our work is still very poor—how do we improve?

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