Get the Scoop

What auditors can learn from journalists

As a journalist, it was a treat to discover that this month’s cover story—which follows the auditing theme—is based on secrets and tips gleaned from journalists that auditors can use to facilitate the most effective, insightful audits possible.

Asking questions that get to the heart of the story is a skill that can be honed with practice, and this article provides a unique perspective to help auditors better communicate with audit subjects in non-threatening and productive ways.

Having employed the majority of these approaches at one time or another, I know these tactics will help you drill down to the dirty details. Instead of getting yes or no answers, you’ll elicit meaningful, illuminating responses about the topics that matter most. See "Ask, and Ye Shall Receive."

The other auditing-focused article, "Think Again," is about the importance of mind over matter when it comes to meeting some of auditing’s toughest challenges. It includes important tips for taking the us-vs.-them mentality out of the equation by establishing common ground and altering long-held mind-sets about the audit process. Implement these tips, and you’ll get more from your audits.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the birth of National Quality Month. Passed as a joint resolution by Congress and proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, National Quality Month focuses on the strategic importance of quality and continuous improvement. It also serves to strengthen the commitment to quality and performance excellence by organizations across the United States. In honor of the occasion, many organizations have created special events and recognition programs throughout October designed to convey the strategic benefits of quality in every industry.

Do you have a story about what you or your organization is doing to celebrate National Quality Month (or any other of the respective quality months and days recognized around the world)? If so, send me your stories; photos are a bonus.

In the 25 years since the resolution was passed, much has changed. The world, as it has been said, has been rendered flat, and quality—as well as ASQ’s efforts surrounding it—have spread far beyond U.S. borders. ASQ offices in India, China and Mexico are now up and running, and training, certification and information have made their way to every corner of the globe.

The flatter, it seems, the better, as the sharing and dissemination of the benefits of quality no longer know boundaries. It’s interesting, in light of this milestone, to consider what quality might look like in another 25 years. How much will change?

Seiche Sanders

Seiche Sanders

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