Credit where it’s due

The response to the question from Sam Bass in Expert Answers (Nov. 2008, p. 12) may be academically and politically correct, but it misses the point. What Bass describes is a violation of the ASQ code of ethics, Article 7: Assure that credit for the work of others is given to those to whom it is due.

I have experienced this situation myself. If it is not appropriate for Bass to seek employment with an organization that promotes ethical practices, he can take other actions. I would suggest he continue to provide solutions but make it more formal, such as documenting his periodic or on-demand reports. That way, his value is recorded and organization members can still use the information to advance the organization.

Also, because I have been described as a type A person, I feel the pings from the statement made by Bass. Does he believe type A people are bad and type B people are good? I don’t think personality type should be an issue.

What Bass is experiencing is rampant across most businesses. If not contained, idea people will disappear into their own world at the cost of humanity’s well-being and advancement.

J.P. Russell
Gulf Breeze, FL

Commander-in-chief concerns

We at the Joseph M. Juran Center are very supportive of ASQ President Roberto Saco’s vision for the new president of the United States ("To the New U.S. President," Oct. 2008, p. 8). We certainly see major segments of our society ripe for a quality transformation: From education to energy and power to healthcare to infrastructure to government agencies, we see what Juran described as "islands of excellence in a sea of mediocrity." Saco’s vision is synchronous with Juran’s vision for a "Century of Quality."

While all of our our executive advisory board members care about all of these things, we believe it useful to cite some specifics about their various passions:

  • Bob Galvin, chairman emeritus of Motorola, recently authored a book titled Perfect Power, in which he calls for a quality revolution in the power industry fueled by a demanding standard of nine sigma.
  • The honorable Paul O’Neill, former secretary of the treasury, believes the pursuit of perfect patient safety and the theoretical limit in all of healthcare can save approximately 50% of the $1.5 trillion healthcare bill of the United States—enough savings to balance the federal budget and provide healthcare for every uninsured American.
  • Bill Watkins, CEO of Seagate Technologies, along with other leaders in Silicon Valley, believe the new technology start-ups can and should be led toward perfect quality in the very early stages.

The table is set for the next U.S. president, as Saco suggests. What is needed now is an inspired vision, massive re-education and leaders by the thousands.

James F. Buckman
On behalf of the Joseph M. Juran Center
Carlson School of Management
University of Minnesota

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