ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition — May 2004

In This Issue

In the Spotlight
Living Strategy

Integrating AQP
Letter From AQP’s President

Living Community Model Member Categories

Living Communities Model Questions and Answers


News Bites
In a Nutshell
Moving the Elephant
NFC Goes Electronic
Resources for Success
May 2004 News For A Change — Home Page

NFC Index

AQP Home

In the Spotlight

Living Strategy: Preparing for and Responding to the Future Dynamically

Predictions of the future are never anything but projections of present automatic processes and procedures, that is, of occurrences that are likely to come to pass if men do not act and if nothing unexpected happens; every action, for better or worse, and every accident necessarily destroys the whole pattern in whose frame the prediction moves and where it finds its evidence.
—Hannah Arendt

Clearly, no amount of analysis and effort can provide a clear perspective of the future. Indeed, in today’s high-paced world, change occurs so quickly that historical approaches for planning and preparing for the future seem obsolete. Does that mean that we should sit back and passively await the future? Of course not! Instead, success in the future is most likely tied to our ability to develop broad-based capabilities that can respond to whatever opportunities and challenges we may face.

With these thoughts in mind, ASQ’s annual strategic planning process underwent a dramatic revision this year. The Society adopted a “living strategy” approach; it acknowledges that, in a sense, we are already living in our future. The seeds are already there, expressed in behaviors and activities that exemplify what we as an organization want to become and where we want to go.

If indeed our future is being forged right here and now in our present, only a living, growing, dynamic strategy will allow us to realize it. We must act wisely in order to let the preferred future unfold to our advantage. The challenge is to open direction-setting to everyone interested in the future of quality and to put in place the structures and mechanisms that allow us to be more like what we want to be.

One aspect of the living-strategy process involved determining how to position and work with ASQ’s strategic partners, including AQP. A significant portion of this issue of News for a Change addresses the outcomes associated with that process.

ASQ’s Vision, Role, and Long-Term Objectives
ASQ’s new vision and role is summarized in the statement, “By making quality a global priority, an organizational imperative, and a personal ethic, the American Society for Quality becomes the community for everyone who seeks quality technology, concepts, or tools to improve themselves and their world.”

The two following long-term objectives define the Society’s future focus:

  • To be stewards of the quality profession by providing member (customer) value.
  • To be stewards of the quality movement by providing increased society value from ASQ activities.

The Living Strategy
The living strategy tells a dynamic story of the shared aspirations, strategic direction, and strategic outcomes of the quality community and ASQ, emerging and continuously evolving from our collective knowledge and ongoing dialogue around the most important issues we face together.

It can be described by the six priority strategic themes listed below:

  • Priority 1: Support quality professionals and practitioners in their efforts to grow in value in the workplace and community.
  • Priority 2: Prove and communicate the economic case for quality.
  • Priority 3: Assure that a vital, growing body of knowledge is accessible to everyone.
  • Priority 4: Become the community of choice for quality.
  • Priority 5: Grow the use and impact of quality in every segment of the economy.
  • Priority 6: Make sure the world knows the importance and value of quality.

This vision and its associated long-term objectives and strategic priority themes will be evaluated using the following questions that define strategic success criteria:

  • How much impact will success of this strategy have on society?
  • How well will we satisfy our members/customers?
  • Does this strategy support the development of people?
  • Will there be a resultant demonstrable economic value?
  • Will this lead to the recognition of the importance of quality?
  • Does this strategy rely on, or add to, the body of knowledge?
  • Are people brought together in “community” through this strategy?
  • Viability—are ASQ’s long-term economics improved?

The Living Community
Serving ASQ’s members and customers well is clearly an essential success factor for the future. Many new and exciting membership changes will begin this July with the introduction of ASQ’s new member model, known as the “Living Community Model.” This redesigned approach to membership is flexible and offers myriad benefits suited to everyone interested in the practice and/or profession of quality.

Specific information on the Living Community Model and how it will affect current AQP members is presented in the special section, “Integrating AQP.” The June issue of News for a Change will include information on other membership options—outside of AQP’s traditional focus areas of teamwork and participation—that will be available under this new design.

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