Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Future of Quality

ASQ's 2015 Future of Quality report, titled "Quality Throughout", examines the changing role of quality. The 88-page report is a compilation of essays from experts in their fields from around the globe. In a guest post to the ASQ CEO's blog, Laurel Nelson-Rowe, ASQ Managing Director, asks for feedback from ASQ's Voices of Quality bloggers.

I have experienced many changes in the field of quality over my 35 year career. Today's quality professional must not only be proficient in the knowledge and application of quality principles, methods and tools to improve processes, products and services, the effective quality professional must never stop learning and experimenting.

The "indispensable" quality professional is fully aware of mega-trends, CEO challenges and emerging markets, and is able to successfully communicate/ translate/ faciltate those long-term opportunities into aligned business-focused strategies and tactics for increased customer satisfaction, competitiveness and sustainable growth.

The indispensable quality professional guides leadership in the rigorous evaluation of its business results and leadership performance against expectations, and is constantly benchmarking best practices - from within and outside its sector - for innovative and disruptive improvement of its key systems and process. The indispensable quality leader is trained and competent in ISO and other industry-specific quality standards, but must also be knowledgeable in the understanding and application of the  Baldrige Criteria (or other proven excellence frameworks such as the Deming Prize). Recognized winners and high-performing applicants of these national and local organizations are target-rich role model organizations with demonstrated best practices ripe for replication.

The indispensable quality professional recognizes the impact of social media and respects the influence of on-line word of mouth held by today's globally-connected, savvy consumer. Strengthening customer relations while learning how to listen and interact with the customer via social media will greatly enhance the organization's perceived value to the customer. Successfully implementing an effective social media engagement strategy is another important opportunity for today's quality leader.

Agility, adaptability and life-long learning are important attributes for today's and future quality leaders.

I am retiring from 3M Company after 34 wonderful years to begin my new career as a quality management consultant. I look forward to continued posts sharing my experiences and insights to the global quality community as an ASQ Voices of Quality blogger.

- Robert 'QualityBob' Mitchell

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