Browsing the archives for the vision tag.

Viva Quality!


I like watching strategic planning in action and shouldn’t be surprised that an organization focused on quality does it so well. In this month’s View from the Q, Bill Troy posts quite a candid discussion regarding the vision of quality.

Troy talks about two distinct ideas for quality’s future, which he describes as:

Evolutionary change: I would describe one view as the ascribing to evolutionary change.  The quality movement has been immensely important and successful in many fields and will continue to grow and evolve, but will do so in recognizable and well-defined ways.  We will move down traditional paths but reach new destinations and make new inroads into fields that are underserved today. We will keep doing what we do well and find ways to do it even better.

Revolutionary change: I would call the second view as seeing revolutionary change in the future of quality.  Some of the ways we brought value to our businesses, industries, and communities will have to fundamentally change.  We will have to bring value to the C-suite as much as to the production line. We must have tools that will facilitate a meaningful contribution at ever more senior levels to make the impact our customers and colleagues want.  Knowledge, which we value so highly and have worked so hard to gather, organize, and refine, must be shared much more freely in the age of new media.

My two cents…

Regarding anything revolutionary, I want to say I’m cautious.  But, denying organizational change isn’t an option.  Of course we must have the tools necessary to meet demand. And, there’s no doubt at all that knowledge should be shared more freely if we want to truly represent our purpose as “a global community of people dedicated to quality who share the ideas and tools that make our world work better.” With this in mind, a focus on developing additional opportunities, AKA “new destinations,” does effectively resolve any performance gaps there.  I like this direction.

But, as described, evolutionary change sounds like something right out of a quality handbook.  Troy’s talking about being targeted and focused on long-term growth and expansion. If we “keep doing what we do well and find ways to do it even better,” we’re talking about the very essence of continuous improvement.  I like this direction too.

How will the future of quality unfold? 

There’s no doubt that untapped opportunities exist to raise the voice of quality.  Just in the sample of individuals I come into contact with, many don’t have a solid understanding (perspective) of the quality that we see as professionals within the industry. The potential market is vast.

I still think we have a long way to go to get out of the quality department and embedded into the C-Suite.  I also see significant potential in taking quality out of the workplace and into our daily lives.  If we focus on quality of life, the expectation is that it cascades into the workplace.

A cautious revolutionary approach that doesn’t forget to water its roots is one that generally thrives.

Viva quality!

1 Comment

The importance of focus and a clear vision…


‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” ~Ben Franklin

This is a quote I regurgitate often, and it seems to be somewhat of a theme in the latest View from the Q post as well.

ASQ’s new CEO, Bill Troy, is asking about having a clear vision, and he uses three examples and takeaways from the European Organization for Quality’s 58th Annual Congress this past June.  

Within the functions of management, planning is first.  Strategic planning starts with identifying a vision and mission for the organization, with the ultimate goal to make sure that all subsequent actions are consistent and communicated effectively to all stakeholders.  In my management class, sometimes we’ll look up a company we all know and check out their vision and mission statements. Students can quickly pick up on whether or not it’s just marketing content, or if it’s something really consistent with their experiences as a consumer.  Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to identify those that don’t match-up.

Troy uses the examples of Ikea and Volvo in his post and indicates he was “moved by the power and clarity that vision can bring.” I too have felt this.  In that respect, I have to identify one company that I believe truly exemplifies their vision and mission… Enter Subaru:

  • We will strive to create advanced technology on an ongoing basis and provide consumers with distinctive products with the highest level of quality and customer satisfaction.
  • We will aim to continuously promote harmony between people, society and the environment while contributing to the prosperity of society.
  • We will look to the future with a global perspective and aim to foster a vibrant, progressive company.

“The principles of good corporate citizenship have always been an integral part of the Subaru business in the United States. It is evident in how we relate to our employees, our customers, and our communities. But, we believe in the principle of Kaizen, or continuous improvement, too.”  Tomomi Nakamura, Chairman and CEO Subaru of America, Inc.

I have experience both as a consumer of several Subaru vehicles, and I also have the pleasure of working with them as a client of Pro QC.  As someone passionate about marketing, I also follow their campaigns and other performance indicators as well.  It’s all clear and consistent with the vision and mission.

ASQ recently shared a quote on Facebook regarding the proof of the pudding is still in the eating…

  • 95% of Subaru vehicles sold in the last 10 years are still on the road today.
  • Subaru represents one of the highest repurchase-loyalty ratings in the U.S. market. 
  • For the fourth consecutive year (2010-2013), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has recognized Subaru as the only manufacturer with a Top Safety Pick winner for all models.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has recognized Subaru with more 2014 Top Safety Picks than any other brand.
  • American Customer Satisfaction Index Ratings are not so shabby, as comparatively listed here. (I could also make a reference to Troy’s experience with Noriaki Kano’s presentation regarding Deming if you look at the top 5 in the index.)
  • The zero landfill plants… Bill Troy mentions visiting the Volvo manufacturing facility, but Subaru sure does impress as well.

How do they do it?  Why Subaru? 

To tie this back to the Volvo mission Troy references as the “clearest organization vision statement he had ever come across,” I see it as more of a marketing positioning strategy.  I have doubts as a consumer that it’s even possible, and I wonder how other consumer (stakeholder) concerns are affected by this.  Granted, I did not do further research beyond the ASQ post, and I have nothing against Volvo. 

It states simply, “by 2020, nobody shall be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo.”  Think about that for a minute. They are saying that by the year 2020 (not that long away) you cannot be killed or seriously injured if you are in a new Volvo, no matter the circumstances of the collision.

Per ASQ, “A clear vision helps in aligning everyone towards the same future state or objective, providing a basis for goal congruence.” Considering this definition, is Volvo a victim of Levitt’s marketing myopia?

Troy closes out his post asking about ASQ.  In regards to whether or not ASQ has the right focus and whether it’s communicated well or not, I’d say we’re moving in the right direction.  My takeaway from the recent World Conference, in addition to my 15 years as a member say that it certainly does.

ASQ’s Vision

By making quality a global priority, an organizational imperative, and a personal ethic, ASQ becomes the community for everyone who seeks quality concepts, technology, or tools to improve themselves and their world.

ASQ’s Mission

To increase the use and impact of quality in response to the diverse needs of the world.

If you’re interested in Pro QC’s mission, we recently went through the strategic planning process as well.  I wrote a blog post about it, of course. 

“The Pro QC Global Team enables our customers to project their interests in quality and conformance. Anywhere. Anytime.”

Comments Off on The importance of focus and a clear vision…