You Can Take It With You

Qualität. Qualité. Qualidade. Calidad. In today’s global economy, every language has a version of the English word “quality.” In fact, quality itself has become a universal language. No matter what industry you work in or part of the world you live in, to thrive—let alone survive—you need to strive for continual improvement, whether you call it quality or something else.

My work experience is mainly in editing and publishing. The editing process inherently involves making every sentence, paragraph, article and issue better at every stage. Rapidly advancing technology and increasing competition for customers’ decreasing reading time has always meant figuring out how to create publications faster and smarter.

But before I joined Quality Progress in 2001, I never used phrases like “continual improvement” or “cycle time reduction.” In fact, coming from a company that published media on pets and animals, I believed the quality field would be completely foreign to me.

To my great relief, that wasn’t the case. While I had a lot to learn (and still do), I quickly discovered the main concepts and principles of quality weren’t all that alien; they just involved different terminology and applications.

Even better, I found that people in quality were eager to share their knowledge and passion for the field. I immediately felt welcomed and supported, not only by other ASQ staff but also by all the authors, reviewers and readers I encountered from day one on the job.

Before this issue goes to press, my last day as editor of QP will have passed. A too-good-to-pass-up opportunity is taking me back to my roots in publishing. I’ll be editing publications about the manufacture and distribution of pet food, so everything I’ve learned about quality will serve me (and my readers) well. And I don’t mean just in terms of the content in those publications. My interactions with hundreds of quality experts and professionals over the past five-plus years will definitely impact how I work and live from now on.

Rest assured, while ASQ searches for my successor, QP will still be in the highly capable hands of a very talented editorial staff—Sue Daniels, Mark Edmund, Valerie Funk and Dave Nelsen, plus contributing editors Leon Lynn and Andy Turner—along with our publisher (Bill Tony), production people (Cathy Schnackenberg, Mary Uttech and colleagues) and salespeople (Kathy Arnold, Kim Azzarello, Phil Edmunds and Carrie Konopacki). They’ve all been a terrific team to work with—and a lot of fun, too.

I extend that sentiment to all the people I’ve come in contact with as editor of QP. Quality professionals are among the nicest and most dedicated people I’ve ever met. I hope I’m lucky enough to always work with people like you and thank you for helping me take quality with me wherever I go.

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