Illuminating the Darkest Day

Though the field of quality is exciting and ever evolving, it is rare for Quality Progress to have the opportunity to respond to breaking news--rarer still for it to happen two months in a row.

As the September issue was going to press, Phil Crosby died. With the October issue, the QP team was in the midst of final proofing and preparation of pages to meet our deadline when the terror of Sept. 11 struck.

Like everyone, ASQ staff watched or listened in horror as the terrible events unfolded. After the initial shock, staff in many departments sprang into action, tracking down traveling colleagues and contacting member volunteers to make sure all were safe.

Tragically, we soon heard Anna Allison, a popular instructor of ASQ software courses and former member, was on one of the hijacked planes. We also learned of an ASQ member who narrowly escaped from one of the buildings on the World Trade Center campus. (See "ASQ News," p. 14.) We were heartened to hear no other members were killed but saddened that several members lost friends and loved ones. Our thoughts remain with them and Allison's family.

Within 24 hours of the events, messages of condolence and support began flowing in from ASQ members and partners around the world. This outpouring of international concern--not only within ASQ but in general--was uplifting and inspiring.

In the days since, we have spent many meetings discussing the aftermath of these horrific events, specifically for ASQ and the quality community. As a first step, ASQ conducted a survey asking members how they and their organizations are responding. We also asked their opinions on what ASQ and quality in general should do in response. We'll report the results in a future issue of QP.

If you were unable to respond to the survey and would like to share your thoughts, please see the "ASQ News" story on p. 14 about information we're seeking. In addition, we'd appreciate hearing about articles you'd like to see in QP on how the quality community can help rebuild and strengthen our country and the economy. Send your input to editor@asq.org or fax (414) 272-1734.

Sept. 11 changed our world forever, and in the coming months, QP will continue to cover quality's role in the new world order. No matter what happens, everyone at ASQ is convinced our Society, its members and other quality practitioners will help illuminate the darkest day.

Debbie Phillips-Donaldson


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