Monday, November 14, 2011

Raising the Voice of Quality - World Quality Month

In his November 2011 blog post, ASQ CEO Paul Borawski states, "The biggest barrier quality faces is making people understand that excellence doesn’t just happen. Excellence isn’t good intent. Through quality, excellence is available to everyone." Paul asks every Quality professional and evangelist to raise the voice of quality during World Quality Month.

I have the distinct pleasure of working for a company with a solid reputation for innovation, quality and social responsibility. 3M and many of its brands like Post-it®, Scotch™, etc., are recognized the world over for quality products that help our customers succeed. Our corporate Quality Policy is "Deliver the Promise". We are well aware that today's sophisticated, savvy customer expects and demands quality; that is, quality is a given. Customer loyalty today is earned through an engaged customer - a customer that advocates and recommends your products and service.

3M's quality culture has been nurtured for over 109 years, born out of William L. McKnight's principles. More recently, James McNerney became 3M's CEO in late 2000 - the first 3M CEO from outside the organization. Mr McNerney is credited with bringing Six Sigma to 3M based on his positive experiences in GE, to enhance our already strong quality improvement approach and as a methodology to develop our future leaders. After leading 3M for a short while, and having met with many of our biggest customers, McNerney revealed a key learning of his own... that our customers genuinely like us!  Jim reinforced to 3M employees just how precious and unusual this level of customer advocacy is... and that it must be preserved and continuously improved for competitive advantage and performance excellence. 3M's current CEO, George Buckley is leading the resurgence of customer-inspired innovation, and 3M growth through customer success.

In recognition of World Quality Month, let's re-dedicate our commitment to customer-focused quality  to deliver Total Customer Experience. Experience Quality is the new frontier of excellence. A frontier ripe for the new generations of quality leaders to exploit for the benefit of humanity.