The American Society for Quality kicked off World Quality Month by taking two important actions. The first, which is simply celebrating quality in November with the rest of the world instead of October like North America has done in the past, is a profound statement. Much more than a simple date change, it announces to the world that we’re in this together and that quality is an international issue that requires the global community’s awareness, support and involvement. It takes a village… in this case, it’s a global one.
The second important action that was included in Paul’s first View from The Q post was the announcement of ASQ 2015, which is their initiative to “Raise the Voice of Quality.” To that, I say right on! Putting aside passive thinking in lieu of active listening is a move in the right direction. With social media at our fingertips, connecting the global community is easier than ever. I think through this process, we’ll find there are more similarities than differences among us. That’s a pretty good starting point!
Paul does pose an interesting question in his post… What would it take to have the world realize the full potential of quality? It’s a question that I’ve asked myself before. Having worked with Pro QC for over a decade now, I’ve seen companies throughout the world miss the mark in many ways. And, the conclusion I came to then was simply that we need to focus on individuals and not organizations. No one would argue they’re a company’s greatest asset. So, to that end, how do we make people realize the full potential of quality?
To many, quality is an abstract and subjective idea that isn’t easily defined. To others, it appears overly technical and complicated. I’ve even heard some refer to it as “wishful thinking,” somehow inferring that it’s out of their control. We have to simplify quality in order to see its full potential. We have to strip the mystique and make it something that anyone can apply, whether it’s in their jobs, at school or at home. It has to become something that we understand and expect, so education is key. It has to be something people talk about, so connections and communications are key. It has to be something we reinforce, so not accepting failure is key.
It will be very interesting to see ASQ evolve through this process. Even more interesting will be discovering what the true potential of quality is and how knowing and acting on that will change our world.