Knowledge Center

Quality Quotes

Every day the Knowledge Center brings you a different one-sentence take on the world of quality. See recently featured quotes below, and find past quotes on the Knowledge Center Tumblr.  

If you have a favorite Quality Quote of your own, email it to us for consideration. Please note that because of the number of submissions that ASQ receives and in the interests of featuring a variety of voices, no more than one quote from any contributor will be accepted.    

Week of May 23

Friday, May 27: "Corporations need to become people factories--places that develop people--not human warehouses that only produce window watchers." - A. William Wiggenhorn (Motorola University)

Thursday, May 26: "The organizations that will truly excel in the future will be the organizations that discover how to tap people's commitment and capacity to learn at all levels in an organization." - Peter Senge

Wednesday, May 25: "In an ideal world, inspection should not be necessary, and the goal should always be to minimize the need for inspection through the continuous improvement of processes." - David Hutchins

Tuesday, May 24: "Wisdom denotes the pursuit of the best ends by the best means." - Francis Hutcheson

Monday, May 23: "The genius of the leadership function is articulating a vision of the future that is at once simple, easily understood, clearly desirable, and energizing." - Bennis and Nanus

Week of May 16

Friday, May 20: "Leadership is more than just leading; it is providing opportunities for others to grow and to contribute more to the overall achievements of the organization." - Wynn and Guditus

Thursday, May 19: "If management is split about teams, implementing them won't work, plain and simple." - Harrington-Mackin

Wednesday, May 18: "We know what we are, but know not what we may be." - William Shakespeare

Tuesday, May 17: "[Great TQM leaders are] in the habit of asking 'Why?' (not 'Who?') when things go wrong." - Chang, Labovitz, and Rosansky

Monday, May 16: "Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the many sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." - Bertrand Russell

Week of May 9

May 13: "A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." - Bernard Shaw

May 12: "The institutional leader . . . is primarily an expert in the promotion and protection of values."
- Philip Selznick

May 11: "The leader is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells, 'Wrong jungle!'" - Steven Covey

May 10: "I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past." - Thomas Jefferson

May 9: "Leadership fails when it concentrates on sheer survival." - Philip Selznik

Week of May 2

Friday, May 6: "Security is when everything is settled, when nothing can happen to you; security is the denial of life." - Germaine Greer

Thursday, May 5: "Fear is the primary block to creativity." - Ernst & Young

Wednesday, May 4: "World-class leaders work for their people." - Chang, Labovitz, and Rosansky

Tuesday, May 3: "Quality without production or service does not exist, and production or service without quality has no value." - Wasi Asghar, Suminter India Organics

Monday, May 2: "A leader is a dealer in hope." - Napoleon Bonaparte

Week of April 25

Friday, April 29: "Come with ten, leave with ten (fingers and toes)." - Larry Roberts, quality control manager, CMC Howell Metal

Thursday, April 28: "Efficient management without effective leadership is, as one individual has phrased it, 'like straightening deck chairs on the Titanic.'" - Steven Covey

Wednesday, April 27: "Organizations are to be sailed rather than driven." - James March

Tuesday, April 26: "If you don't generate excitement, you don't generate much." - Bill Marriott

Monday, April 25: "The fact that the captain of the ship can clearly see the port is of no use if the crew continues to paddle in different directions." - Townsend and Gebhardt

Week of April 18

Friday, April 22: "Everyone in the company is the CEO’s customer." - Fred Smith (Federal Express)

Thursday, April 21: "There are no simple tricks for eliminating blame. You simply must stop doing it."
- Juran Institute, Inc.

Wednesday, April 20: "There is little chance that your customers will be excited about your products or services unless your workers are." - Ernst & Young

Tuesday, April 19: "I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." - Thomas Edison

Monday, April 18: "The economic losses from fear are appalling. To assure better quality and productivity, it is necessary that people feel secure." - Mary Walton

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ASQ is a global community of people passionate about quality, who use the tools, their ideas and expertise to make our world work better. ASQ: The Global Voice of Quality.