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.