Good Times…World Conference on Quality & Improvement #WCQI11 #ASQ

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Oh boy, the last couple of days have been a whirlwind adventure… although, most things turn out quite adventurous for me anyway!

I left Tampa before dawn on Sunday in what I would consider the worst lightning storm ever!  I almost didn’t want to leave for the airport, but I’m just that dedicated to quality… lol!

I enjoy travel, so having an opportunity to come out to Pittsburgh and talk about quality has been an awesome experience! Before the conference stuff started, I had some time on Sunday to check out the Warhol Museum and eat a famous Primati Brothers sandwich.  The Warhol Museum was amazing… the sandwich, not so much.  The place was packed though, so what do I know?

As for the conference, I checked out the exhibition area several times.  I liked that there weren’t so many exhibitors that it was overwhelming.  At tradeshows like CES, it’s almost impossible to see everything you want to and talk to people.  At WCQI11, I had an opportunity to talk with representatives from the various divisions and even see MasterControl, the company that has recently included a few of my articles in their newsletter. I couldn’t resist getting several books from the Quality Press booth… And, I also scored a ton of SRO’s Pathways to Social Responsibility 2011 booklets for use as an assignment in next semester’s management class (MAN1021). Oh, and I’m thankful for the Welcome Reception that evening because I was starving after pecking at the Primati sandwich!

I don’t even know where to start with what I’ve accomplished today (Saturday)…

* I attended the keynote this morning and heard Adm. Thad Allen, USCG (Ret.) talk about his responsbilities and lessons learned  regarding his leadership roles during incidents such as Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  I love his perspective… “My shareholders are the people of the United States of America.” How many times have we gotten the problems wrong and thus answered the wrong questions?  I enjoyed his presentation!

* Based on the recommendation of an exhibitor, I checked out the Strategy Planning & Lean Tools session.  They had a cool little magic box thing that I wanted to learn how to use.  And, I did really enjoy the hands-on activity, but I would have liked to have had more time to really go over the material.  The speaker, J.D. Marhevko,, did provide a website available to anyone that has webinars and other useful information regarding the subject. I think the X-Matrix worksheet she went over would be a great in-class activity at HCC! I could see it in practical application at Pro QC too.  Oh, I won an ASQ calculator in addition to all that knowledge… cool!

* I sat in on the afternoon speaker, which was Brian Joiner.  I love hearing people talk about sustainability and social responsibility.  And, this guy had a plan!  “The tide has turned”… I hope so Brian! I haven’t talked about externalities since my MBA economics class (one of my favorite classes, so not a negative thing). I do love what Brian did with Madison, WI though… very inspiring!

* I participated in a video interview regarding my participation as an Influential Voice… that was fun! I’m totally waiting to see this footage… lol

* I attended a fabulous special reception that honored key influencers in the industry… I was totally humbled to be recognized as an Influential Voice! There are so many key players, many of them volunteers, that put their hearts and souls into making ASQ what it is.  That’s pretty special!  Oh, and I did get a pic with Paul Borawski, ASQ’s CEO and fellow blogger, which was a nice way to wrap-up the evening and close-out the conference. It’s been real…

Tomorrow, the conference will go on but I’ll be heading back to sunny (hot) Florida.  I’ll be following the #WCQ11 tweets though and will catch up via YouTube and the other Influential Voices. 🙂

Side Note: Pittsburgh, PA is a pretty cool city! Downtown is bustling and there are all kinds of neat places to eat and shop. Oh, and the people are all really nice and should be very proud of living in such a nationally recognized “green” hotspot.

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