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Quality Resources | Books & Standards

Quality Quotes

Every day ASQ features a different one-sentence take on the world of quality. See recent quotes below.

If you have a favorite Quality Quote of your own, email it to us for consideration. Please note that because of the number of submissions that ASQ receives and in the interests of featuring a variety of voices, no more than one quote from any contributor will be accepted.    

Week of May 15

Friday, May 19: "Vision is the art of seeing things invisible." -Jonathan Swift

Thursday, May 18: "Achieving quality is difficult. If it weren't, more people would do it, and they don't, so it is." -John Guaspari

Wednesday, May 17: "The journey toward excellence is a never-ending road. Some people, because they see no end to their road, never take the first step." - H. James Harrington

Tuesday, May 16: "It is our experience that, 90 percent of the time, what passes for commitment is compliance." - Peter Senge

Monday, May 15: "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." - Abraham H. Maslow

Week of May 8

Friday, May 12: "It is the first duty of a hypothesis to be intelligible." - Thomas Huxley

Thursday, May 11: "You can choose one of these quality systems or another option or have it chosen for you, but you cannot choose not to have a quality system." - Steven George

Wednesday, May 10: "It is in general more profitable to reckon up our defects than to boast of our attainments." - Thomas Carlyle

Tuesday, May 9: "The road to continuous improvement is and must be an appropriately tailored, optimized, and personal one." - V. Daniel Hunt.

Monday, May 8: "Rewarding those who successfully fight quality fires but do not eliminate the root causes encourages arson." - Phil Scott, director, quality assurance, Chemring Energetic Devices

Week of May 1

Friday, May 5: "There are some remedies worse than the disease." - Publilius Syrus

Thursday, May 4: "Today's problems come from yesterday's "solutions."" - Peter Senge

Wednesday, May 3: "Quality is simple; people are complicated." - Harry Forsha

Tuesday, May 2: "To be effective, strategic management must be used as a tool – a means to an end – and not as the goal itself." - A. Blanton Godfrey

Monday, May 1: "There is never a shortage of challenges for people in industry." - Ronald G. Day

Week of April 24

Friday, April 28: "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." - Christopher Society motto

Thursday, April 27: "Beauty is no quality in things themselves. It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them." - David Hume

Wednesday, April 26: "Slogans, posters on the wall, appearances in company videos and at occasional in-house quality award ceremonies are always impersonal and inadequate." - Allan Sayle

Tuesday, April 25: "Well begun is half done." - Horace

Monday, April 24: "Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least." - Goethe

Week of April 17

Friday, April 21: "A popular saying goes, "It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem." But solutions you don't see, you have to find. That's why we have quality engineers." - Zaheer Babar Khan

Thursday, April 20: "For every problem there is a solution: simple, neat, and wrong." - Mobil Oil Company

Wednesday, April 19: "Overreliance on experience, intuition, and gut feeling is a surefire way of increasing waste." - Katsuya Hosotani

Tuesday, April 18: "Cause and effect are two sides of one fact." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, April 17: "Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion." - Hegel

Week of April 10

Friday, April 14: "It's not what the vision is, it's what the vision does." - Robert Fritz

Thursday, April 13: "We believe a passion for excellence also carries a price, and we state it simply: the adventure of excellence is not for the faint of heart." - Peters and Austin

Wednesday, April 12: "That's what life is all about—timing." - Lee Iacocca

Tuesday, April 11: "Make sure you generate a reasonable number of mistakes." - Fletcher Byrom

Monday, April 10: "The wisest of the wise may err." - Aeschylus

Week of April 3

Friday, April 7: "Performance improvement claims in the absence of substantive, objective metrics are little more than expressions of opinion." - Jeff Donaldson, The Logistics Company, Inc.

Thursday, April 6: "It is the true nature of mankind to learn from mistakes, not from example." - Fred Hoyle

Wednesday, April 5: "Quality—you can choose to take it or leave it, but the market will find ways to reciprocate." - Abhijit B. Mepadan, lean engineer, ASQ CSSBB

Tuesday, April 4: "Nobody yields to force unless he is forced to." - Bertolt Brecht

Monday, April 3: "I failed my way to success." - Thomas Edison

Week of March 27

Friday, March 31: "If no problem is recognized, there is no recognition of the need for improvement." - Masaaki Imai

Thursday, March 30: "Execution without quality means you will have to re-execute." - Esther Alexander, PMP, CSQE

Wednesday, March 29: "Quality control is more than just a state of mind. It requires effective tools." - Shigeru Mizuno

Tuesday, March 28: "Without systems thinking, the seed of vision falls on harsh soil." - Peter Senge

Monday, March 27: "You cannot implement quality improvement in a hostile environment." - A. Donald Stratton

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