About This Blog
A QualitEvolution is intended to capture positions and experiences as a participant in the evolution of the Quality profession into the 21st century. From its origins as the brainchild of Corporate Industrial Statisticians, our profession has transformed and evolved to incorporate and adapt to the demands and expectations of our modern existence.
The scope of the subject matter within A QualitEvolution extends to the furthest ranges of quality, business transformation, management science, and quality issues especially pertinent to the members of ASQ in Canada.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Having recently returned from ASQ headquarters in Milwaukee, I am pleased to share that we are all part of a vibrant and dynamic organization, which continues to adapt and evolve to address the changing needs of our respective global professional communities. In this regard, I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to observe and partake in the progress of the ASQ Mining Interest Group.
As a global society, ASQ has committed to taking those constructive steps which it believes will enhance and improve member value. This includes a greater commitment to improving information technology and financial controls. The sustainment of these endeavors will be managed through the ASQ’s Performance Awards and Recognition (PAR) program. I encourage all ASQ members to familiarize themselves with this program in order to make their respective member units more effective.
The ASQ Mining Interest Group falls within the framework of the ASQ Technical Communities Council (TCC) which manages Divisions, Interest Groups, and Technical Committees. As a Regional Director for the ASQ sections in Canada (Region 4), I will work constructively to assist and encourage the integration of ASQ Mining events with ASQ Section activities, ensuring that quality practitioners aligned with ASQ in Canada can benefit from the innovative and dynamic programs.
I can personally attest to the high caliber of the annual gala event in Saskatoon, held in October 2014 at the Sheraton Cavalier. It was remarkable to be part of a prestigious panel of speakers, spanning executives, practitioners, public servants, and professional leaders. I particularly enjoyed the direct testimonials from mining employees with “hands-on” quality experiences. The time went very quickly and by having the meals in the meeting rooms, this permitted programming to continue and be enjoyed concurrently with networking and social contacts. It was a very efficient and fulfilling day which raises the standard for other ASQ events.
ASQ Member Value is gained from constructive and memorable experiences. I think that the ASQ Mining Interest Group is on a very constructive track to becoming a thriving ASQ Division and an essential part of the TCC. Unlike the ASQ Sections and Regions, Technical Communities like the ASQ Mining Interest Group are not limited nor constrained by geography. For example, I was delighted to know that there were contributors from Australia who were working to refine a distinct body of knowledge and intellectual content, pertinent to the mining industry. This is truly representative of a global professional organization.
Overall, based on the presentations, my impression is that the leadership within mining has embraced quality as an essential practice. It was particularly compelling to hear speakers from different backgrounds and perspectives consistently emphasize the importance of quality to success in mining, and share specific examples of successful implementation and outcomes from quality deployment. This makes the program relevant for those outside of mining, who can then use these actual examples where theory has been transformed into practice. I look forward to continued growth and success.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
The Quality profession has two sources of influence and power from which it must deliver its intended function:
- Inspirational power derived from the passionate convictions of sincere appeals to a shared positive mission and vision. (Transformational)
- Punitive power gained by enforcing specifications, requirements, regulations, and compliance to official policies. (Control)
In my view, leadership capability is a necessity. Our profession has evolved from being control-oriented and reactive (consider that the original name of our organization was American Society for Quality Control) to being transformation-driven. The ASQC-era definitions of quality are summarized below:
- Conformance to requirements
- Fitness for use and purpose
These reflect restraining forces, where the Quality function would provide data collection and process control services to refine existing work, and prevent undesirable outcomes. In this context, Quality would exert power primarily as an enforcer of customer requirements and industry regulations.
In the current ASQ-era, a grander vision is sought, which extends to driving forces of organizational excellence, business transformation, social responsibility, and personal achievement. Leadership is required for the successful mobilization and transition from the status quo to a higher level of greater enlightenment, versatility, and robust operations.
Unlike the control mentality, where influence is built upon defensive reactions to potential maladies; the transformation mentality requires its influence to be drawn from leadership characteristics and principles:
- An optimistic and competitive vision of the future
- A call to urgent action and consistent accomplishment
- Alignment of common priorities with the promise of mutual gains
- Pursuit of innovative breakthroughs and evolutionary advancement
- Continual motivation to overcome obstacles and challenges
Without a determined and deliberate approach, and the proper application of effective and contextually appropriate leadership methods and techniques, the necessary transformations and aspirations of excellence will not occur. Quality without leadership is reduced to a bureaucratic function, tolerated only by its minimal necessity. In contrast, when visionary leadership is applied, Quality becomes the driver of all organizational activities, and the foundation of personal and professional success and excellence.