Professional development & social media… Connecting with quality


I just attended my first ASQ local section strategy meeting.  I’ve been Education Chair for a few months now and have gained a broader understanding of our membership during that time.

I’m surprised by the lack of engagement in social media, or the industry in general.  I don’t think we’ve quite succeeded yet in taking our passion for quality outside of our work. I do really like ASQ’s new Community site and think it will be a great way to get people started!  The great thing about quality is that the people into it are usually REALLY into it.  There just needs to be more of us…

Paul Borowski is talking about this in View From the Q this month.  He’s inquiring more from a perspective of wanting to know how people are staying connected and using social networks for professional development.  For the most part, I don’t think they are.  But, to be positive, I do see things changing.

Our section recently conducted a survey.  When asked about how members hear about upcoming meetings and other local activities, 78% indicated it is through the emailed notice.  The LinkedIn site received zero.

Our section does not have a Facebook page.  We’re not on Twitter and our LinkedIn group is a ghost town.  Why?

Sidenote: I don’t have an answer as to why, but we did outline some positive actions in the strategy session that should improve our engagement here over the next year.

I hate to say this, but I think the lack of engagement in general is largely related to what I found out about why people attend the meetings. While professional development is agreed to be a good thing, most of the people attending our local meetings are there to receive the ongoing certification credits.  The quality community is something that exists in their “work” lives.  It’s not a personal connection. This is what we need to change.  We need to make quality accessible to everyone as a “quality of life” passion rather than just a job, or just what they do.

My suggestions to students and others for maximum social media benefits for professional development includes:

1) Determine an amount of time each day or week that you can allocate for connecting with others in your field. Social media is passive networking.  It’s important.

2) Keep a current LinkedIn profile and actively develop connections by participating in industry groups.

3) Stay connected to major industry associations through your social media networks.

4) Develop a consistent online voice (brand) that allows you to share your knowledge with others while continuously improving through learning.



1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Brent Brewington  •  Jul 11, 2013 @10:35 pm

    I love it. I’ve recently gotten into the Social Media world with a content slant towards Quality, Lean, Technology, and other random things I find interesting (try to focus on the first 3, though, because that’s what my followers tend to engage with the most) – see my website for links to my Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn profiles. In case you’d like an intro to twitter, see

    In my opinion, there are 2 goals to social media: 1. Social interaction, and 2. Media (content) sharing. They both go hand in hand pretty well, but those two are tied together with the term engagement. You post something you hope to give value to your followers, and wait for a response, then engage with them

    Here’s how it ties in to Quality:
    Customers are anyone who will see your content (which takes a little bit of research up front to find out how that works for each social network…i.e. Twitter)
    Value is whatever content or interaction your “customers” are willing to “pay for”, which means whatever they’re going to spend their screen time reading, re-sharing, and commenting on
    Metrics – You can measure how you’re doing, which for me as a quality professional, provides lots of motivation. If I have a metric I can attack with a strategy and the right tools, I’m motivated. There’s a service called Klout (, that gives you a score of your social media life. Also, there’s one called Buffer (, that acts as a scheduled-release (Kanban?) of content. From that you can see who clicked on any links you shared, who viewed the posts, etc.

    There are all kinds of ways to measure your social media world that you create. The key is to come up with a market segment (for anyone reading this, it’s probably Quality and whatever specialization you’re in), and provide value to that segment. Once you get out there and try it, see how people respond, and re-adjust (can you say “PDCA”?). You get to be the operations manager of your own little social media organization.