2019

Crosby and Commentaries

A few days before the September issue of QP went to press, ASQ learned Philip B. Crosby had died. Juggling quickly, we were able to add a brief news item and a special tribute by ASQ Chair Greg Watson, which ran in this space. While timely, these stories could not provide the depth and focus warranted by someone of Crosby's status, so we give you that coverage in this issue (p. 25). Our gratitude goes to Crosby's family, members of his company and quality colleagues, who shared information, remembrances and photos.

Another unique feature this month is "Why Quality Gets an 'F'" (p. 32). This is the first in what QP plans as a series of commentaries or opinion pieces on issues that profoundly affect the quality community. In this case, R.W. Hoyer contributes his opinion on the quality problems at Ford. (Interestingly, a comment in the Crosby story from Joseph De Feo of the Juran Institute notes that Crosby foresaw Ford's problems two years ago.)

Though not receiving as much attention as those problems have, environmental quality--or the lack thereof--has also garnered its share of recent media play. News stories abound about the controversy over drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the fact that 25 states have experienced at least one day this year when air quality did not meet federal standards.

Do headlines shine enough of a spotlight on the environmental quality? ASQ member Hampton Scott Tonk, general manager of Affiliated Educational Consultants Ltd., thinks not. In a letter to President Bush (copied to QP), Tonk proposes creating an American National Environmental Quality Award (ANEQA), modeled after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

"Several environmental management systems are already in use," Tonk writes, the main one being ISO 14000. "Their criteria can be integrated into the Baldrige criteria to form the ANEQA criteria." He stresses this should not become a political matter. "The quality of the water we drink, the air we breathe, the medications we consume, the food we eat, the ground we walk on and the product and services we buy are not partisan issues."

Do you agree? Does this aspect of quality deserve its own award, at the level of the Baldrige? Do you believe quality professionals have a role to play in preserving our natural resources? Please share your thoughts by sending an e-mail to editor@asq.org, or post your comments on the QP Discussion Board at www.My ASQ.org. You will find Tonk's letter posted there, too.

If you would like to share a commentary, please send it to manuscripts@asq.org. The topic does not have to be controversial, like Hoyer's, but it should be one in which you have in-depth knowledge or experience and can back up with appropriate references and citations. Before submitting, read our author guidelines by clicking on "editorial submissions" on the QP home page at www.asq.org.

Debbie Phillips-Donaldson
Editor


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