In response to "Reader Memories" (November 2017, pp. 34-45): Thanks, QP, for this section. Really amazing stories.

Arvind Kumar Sharma
Doha, Qatar


I really enjoyed the November issue of QP. The history is quite noble. While W. Edwards Deming submitted only one paper, he definitely supported the publication. I wrote a monograph for him on psychology, and he told me to put it in Quality Progress piece by piece. My QP article, "Theory and Practice of Employee Recognition" (December 1992), currently is read more frequently than any other article I have authored. Thanks for the good work!

Brooks Carder
Del Mar, CA

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This month’s question

As manufacturing processes become more automated through new technologies such as 3-D printing, artificial intelligence and robotics, employees must learn new skills to keep up with the changes.

What automated technologies has your organization adopted? How have they changed your role? What is your opinion of the changes?

Last month’s question

Japan’s reputation for quality has taken a hit in recent months. In October, it was discovered that Kobe Steel Ltd., a major Japanese steel manufacturer, has been falsifying its quality data since at least 2007. The scandal affects about 500 companies, including Boeing, General Motors and Ford.

Nissan and Subaru also have been in the spotlight recently for flawed vehicle inspections. For decades, both automakers used unauthorized employees to conduct final safety checks at their Japanese factories.

What can these organizations do to recover from these serious scandals? What can other organizations do to prevent something like this from happening to them?

Ethan Jerry Mings, Oakville, Ontario, writes:

One approach is to better understand how ethics are used in daily decision making throughout the organization. Often, ethics and values are crafted, posted and forgotten. Instead, the decision-making checklist should incorporate an ethics element to ensure all decisions are sound. Decisions without an ethics check that can be verified through an audit can leave individuals, teams and organizations exposed.

Anish Shah, Minneapolis-St. Paul:

Perform root cause analysis and follow plan-do-check-act to possibly recover at a faster pace rather than be consumed by the sudden downfall due to a bad reputation.

Peter Verhoeff, Tilburg, Netherlands:

What can organizations do to recover? Take the blame, be honest and open up in light of initiatives to improve their way of working. What can they do to prevent serious scandals? Create a culture of trust and openness, and ensure mechanisms are available to report any misconduct.

David Knowlton, Jefferson, MA, says:

Change will happen when the bottom line continues to go down, not up. The organization’s management will have to provide evidence of conformance to their customers and potentially change their culture.

Send us your take at editor@asq.org.

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