Living Strategy: Preparing for and
Responding to the Future
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.
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
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
ASQ’s Vision, Role, and Long-Term
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
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
The Living Strategy
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
- 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
- Does this strategy support the development of
- Will there be a resultant demonstrable economic
- Will this lead to the recognition of the
importance of quality?
- Does this strategy rely on, or add to, the body
- Are people brought together in
“community” through this strategy?
- Viability—are ASQ’s long-term
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
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