Should Quality Go Global? Obviously.


ASQ’s CEO, Bill Troy, is talking about taking quality global... He’s soliciting some discussion regarding why we should do it.

Here are the first few reasons that came to mind in defense of globalizing quality:


To a quality professional, continuous improvement is part of who we are. And, to somehow put a  limit on how far that improvement should reach seems isolationist and not good for a competitive marketplace. It is our duty as quality professionals to “raise the voice” and share/learn ideas and knowledge from within the global community.  That’s how we accomplish real kaizen!

“The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ~Albert Einstein


This is a key concept in quality.  Limiting the scope of this important strategy doesn’t make sense.

“Vision is dandy, but sustainable company excellence comes from a huge stable of able managers.” ~Tom Peters

One World – Globalization Benefits 

When there’s transparency in our knowledge about quality, we improve the lives of others around the world and create a competitive market that benefits consumers and the planet.

“A sustainable world means working together to create prosperity for all.” ~Jacqueline Novogratz

Case in Point – If you need an example to support taking quality global, consider Deming and the effect he had on Japanese manufacturing and ultimately quality practices worldwide.

“Learning is not compulsory… neither is survival.” ~Deming

Troy concludes with the following question:

“ASQ’s mission statement talks about increasing the use and impact of quality in response to the diverse needs of the world.  Are we doing enough, throughout the world, to accomplish that mission?”

So, are we doing enough?

My answer is no simply because one thing we know in quality is that it’s never enough.

Here’s a more specific reason… I work for a company that utilizes quality engineers and professionals in over 38 countries.  And, I can honestly say that l rarely find any of them familiar with ASQ.  After a recent meeting with our General Manager based in Shanghai, I forwarded the information for the local ASQ resources in cities where we have offices and suggested we consider the certifications for our inspectors. We do have an extensive in-house training program, but even just the networking and knowledge transfer associated with ASQ membership would have a significant impact.

I am left wondering how we are marketing to other countries. Is there a strategic plan that identifies key growing global markets and ensures that local sections are setup and have the resources they need and an outlet in which to share their knowledge as well?  I am hoping to hear more on this at WCQI in May.

Speaking of WCQI, there was a solid point made at the last World Conference.  It’s the “world” conference, but we’ve never held it outside of the U.S.  That would show a sure sign of support for the mission simply by providing the international community with more convenient access to what WCQI brings to the table.  Anyone who has attended will tell you it’s a massive event where “increasing the use and impact of quality in response to the diverse needs of the world” is conversation you might hear over breakfast. Even focusing on an increased international attendance here would be a solid step in expanding our reach.

Finally, the big elephant in the room is branding. ASQ still infers “American” society for quality, so I think from a sub-conscious behavioral perspective, it’s difficult for other countries to call it their own.  Rebranding does take time though, especially with so many seasoned members.




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