Hold Tight

Let quality be your rock

Tales of economic hardship are easy to come by these days. So, to be honest, when QP editors set about assembling the collection of anecdotes on quality and the economy contained in this month’s feature story, Riding the Storm Out,” we braced for the worst.

When readers’ firsthand accounts began to hit my inbox, I was admittedly surprised. The stories we received aptly capture the steadfast, determined and hard-working nature of those in the quality profession—ideals I knew existed but had worried might be shaken given the current conditions. Also heartening to see were the pure and unwavering belief in the value of quality and the undercurrent of optimism among the sage advice for surviving difficult times.

The key takeaway for me was that these readers are passionate about what they do—the backbone of success, as most successful people will tell you.

One caveat: The majority of our contributors were still gainfully (and no doubt gratefully) employed, so they are not struggling to find a job as I know some of you are. One of our writers did lose his job during the production of this issue—click here to go to his 10 warning signs you might be next.

My hope is that whether you’re currently employed or searching for a job, the observations and advice presented here not only help you survive, but also come out stronger on the other end of this recession.

This month’s cover story also focuses on how sound quality management can be the armor that allows a company to repel negative economic forces and then excel when conditions improve. I love how this passage sums up why such resolve is crucial in a downturn:

“… more companies join the battle to share the market in prosperous times because it looks easy, leading to increased competition. So, for most companies, the market is divided among more players, and life doesn’t actually get any easier. In hard times, if you are better than the competition, they will get out and leave you with a larger portion of the market,” author Peter Grossi writes in “Prepared for Battle.”

The month’s editorial focus—trends and developments shaping the future of quality—somewhat defaulted to discussions of the economy’s impact on the profession. But, I’m glad. During these difficult times, it’s even more important to band together, draw inspiration and advice from peers and mentors, network like crazy and find every possible way to prove the long-term value of quality to management.

Pass on these articles, e-mail them via www.qualityprogress.com, discuss them or post them in the break room if you want. Be a voice, speak up and maintain your place at the table. If there was ever a time where quality should be your company’s shield of armor, it’s now.

Seiche Sanders

Seiche Sanders

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