Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Can Quality be Characterized as Global?


The February 2015 Influential Voices blog by ASQ CEO Bill Troy talks about the efforts ASQ has undertaken to have a more global presence. He documents the work that ASQ has done to setup presence in China, Mexico, India, Brazil and the Middle East. 

But spreading the word is not enough. Mr. Troy’s point around the Quality Body of Knowledge (QBOK) needing to be a resource available globally is only one aspect to its necessary reach.  Quality, in my mind, is not global but pervasive.  Quality is an integral part of success, something that needs to be part of an organization’s DNA, whether it is a local small business or a global conglomerate.  Successful, long lasting businesses use quality as the foundation for their success.  Where things go wrong is where they lose focus on this. 

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, February 11, 2015, published an Opinion piece by Larry Light, the former Chief Marketing Officer of McDonald’s.  In the piece, Mr. Light laid out a strategy for McDonald’s to overcome their recent decrease in earnings and global sales.  The piece sounded like a case study that ASQ would produce.  His call for a “back to basics” approach included increased customer retention and focus, getting back to the core mission, and improving product quality and service. 

Mr. Light’s last point of the article is something that applies to Mr. Troy’s third part on growing the business.  I get the sense that Mr. Troy’s definition of growth has to do with increasing membership.  But I would better follow Mr. Light’s words around trust.  In order for people to accept the ASQ message, there must be a level of trust.  Members need to trust the ASQ message enough to bring it back to their organizations.  When that trust is lost, membership declines.  There have been a few periods in ASQ’s history where organizational trust has taken some significant hits based on organizational decisions. 

So as much as ASQ desires to “Go Global” I would focus more on the message of quality.  How can we make the QBOK pervasive?  How can we increase trust that the message of Quality works in all circumstances such that people are willing practice it and preach it freely?