Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Videos on Keynotes from WCQI

I was purusing the ASQ web site and found video clips from the WCQI 2011 keynote speakers on the home page...check em out!

Wednesday at WCQI

Today is the final day of the conference. I only had limited time before I had to hit the road so, before I go I want to share some parting thoughts.

I attended one of the best sessions I've ever seen at WCQI. This was Ben Marguglio's talk on Human Error Causal Factors. I've known Ben for many years and have been anxious to attend one of his seminars on the same topic. Unfortunately timing has never aligned to allow for my attendance. Now that I've got the flavor it's time to get to one of his seminars!

I leave Pittsburgh today with some ache in my heart and head. I lost my glasses on Monday afternoon. I believe I dropped them, in their case, in the main ballroom of the convention center following the afternoon keynote. If anyone found a pair of wireless Silouette eyeglasses, please contact me at I also caught a computer virus and my laptop is currently nothing more than a door-stop. Hopefully the IT group at work will be able to disinfect for a full recovery. Much of that ache comes from the fact that I will not see many of my ASQ friends for a whole year.

It is not my intention to leave WCQI on a negative note. I ended my visit to the convention center chatting with a whole host of members, member leaders and staff. I wish everyone a safe jouney home and look forward to seeing you all in Anaheim, CA for WCQI2012.

Thanks for checking in this week...



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday at WCQI

Today was all about learning.

Unfortunately it began with me learning that I lost my eyeglasses. Not to worry, my sight is sufficient that the loss has not yet inhibited my ability.

On to the sessions...

First up was my ASQ buddy Marc Macot on Firefighting and Lean, What's the link?

Marc showed, very effectively, that firefighters have practice Lean longer than Lean has existed. He's involvement with his local, rural Canadian community volunteer fire department. His journey to becoming a volunteer fire fighter brought many connections between the methods used in firefighting and those used by Lean practitioners. Excellent job Marc!

I moderated three sessions for Chris Hayes. She took us through 3 parts of Lean Management:

  1. Standar Work for Leaders (SW4L)

  2. Visual Controls

  3. Daily Accountability

Chris delivered, as promised, guidance on how important these 3 elements are to implementing and maintaining a successful Lean jouney.

I also spent midday thoroughly engaged in Barbara Corcoran's keynote address. Read some of my comments on Twitter.

On a somewhat personal note, while eating my 'delicious' boxed lunch in the Exhibit hall I had a long chat with both Kristin Case and former ASQ President Ken Case. Both inquired if I had an extra banquet ticket for mom/wife. I did not receive a banquet ticket with my registration however I asked them to give me a few minutes to see if I could work my magic. A big thank you goes out from me to Bill Wortman from the Indiana Council for Quality. Bill's group at his booth and one spare ticket remaining and happily donated it to Ken for the lovely Mrs. Case.

Monday at WCQI

My day yesterday (Monday, May 16) was a great day.
As is typical at any conference, especially at WCQI I had plenty of networking time with old friends and making many new friends...

As for the learning opportunites they were numerous.
Most importantly to me was attending Tony Manos' session on the X-Matrix.
After hearing many colleagues talk about this Lean Tool, Tony finally enlightened me on how it is used, how to create an X-Matrix and a bit about it's history. On a side note, we discussed the tool outside of the session and he confirmed my belief that it is truly the second generation of the 'House of Quality' QFD tool. Thanks Tony!!!

As is typical of my conference experience, Monday is more of a social day and not to be disappointed I partook in several social events in the evening including the Awards reception followed by the joint FD&C and Biomed Divisions dinner cruise. This event was a blast. Good dinner, stimulating conversation, lots of laughs and beautiful views of the city of Pittsburgh at sunset.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Opening Reception of WCQI

This is where the fun really begins! Time to play.
I walked the floor of the Exhibits hall and met with some old friend while making new friends.

If you've never been to a World Conference and plan to attend in the future a couple of pieces of advice:

  • Bring lots of business cards

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes

  • Don't skip a booth in the exhibits hall - you never know what you might pick up / learn or who you might meet

  • ASQ books are at special discounted prices so bring your credit card

  • Be prepared to lose your voice from gabbing!!!

  • And finally, be sure to seek out the game of the night, whatever it might be...they are usually fun and come with some great prizes

A special event has been going on for the past couple of years during the Reception. It's called Excite! at Night. When you come next year check it out. These quick presentations (5 minutes each) are exciting, interesting and fun (and this night is supposed to be about fun!).

Business Meeting

Some items of note to report from the Business meeting:

  1. Membership is holding steady at about 79,000; there were approximately 20,000 new members joining ASQ in the past year and member retention is up to 72% (up from 70.5% in the prior year).

  2. Financially, the organization is healthy with $29M in cash and investments and net assets of $21M.

  3. The amendment to change the By-laws of the society passed by a vote of 3214 for, 107 against, 137 abstained and 25 ballots disqualified.

Jim Rooney, President Elect will assume the position of Chairman commented that he worked diligently through his ASQ life to achieve the President's position and by way of a vote to amend the by-laws, he will never be President, however, he holds the distinction of being ASQ's first Chairman. A few notes from Jim's address:

  • ASQ needs to change (as change is inevitable and necessary for the vital health of any organization)

  • ASQ needs to innovate

  • Change is all that there is in the world (so make it effective)

  • In our personal lives we adapt to change - ASQ must also adapt to change

  • David Spong, outgoing President, launched EMV21 - Enhancing Member Value in the 21st Century; innovation from EMV21 will reach fruition during Jim's term in office.

Bill Sellrey and Amy Kohler, ASQ's Washington presences discussed the Baldrige Grassroots effort to preserve the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. If you go to the ASQ Avocacy page and send letters to your Member of Congress and Secretary Locke you too can support this effort.

Fellows Luncheon

One of the highlights of the events surrounding WCQI for me is the Fellows Luncheon.

This event is an opportunity for the current Fellows of ASQ get together to rejoice in our overall accomlishments while inducting the new, freshman class into our numbers.

This year the Fabulous 15 as they've come to be know were inducted following a delicious lunch.

During the luncheon, I had a discussion with one of the newest Fellows about the concept of this event. We agreed that we should consider promoting a similar event for our new members that come to WCQI in their first year or 2 of membership or even include them in this event. We felt that this might enhance their member value, provide them with an opportunity to meet a mentor and improve the chances of retaining these members. What do you think?

Section Affairs Council (SAC) meeting and US TAG to TC176

The SAC meeting (which began as DAC-SAC - Division and Section Affairs Councils) was a lively event with plenty of open discussion on a multitude of topics.
Primary topics included:

  • SACs elections

  • An update from the Quality Management Process (QMP) committee's work

  • Member Leader Training Committee

  • Membership committee

  • A presentation from representatives of the US TAG for TC176

  • Q-BOK (the Quality body of knowledge)

  • Report-out of the key take-away's from Saturday's Ideas to Actions Gathering (ITAG)

  • Voice of the Customer (VOC) committee

  • Regional Director's business plans

Minutes from this meeting will be available in the not too distant future so I will not go into details on each topice. I do, however, want to address just one item of note.

In 2013 the United States and specifically the US TAG (Technical Advisory Group) to TC176, the technical committee that oversees the writing and updating of ISO 9000 family of standards, will host a plenary event. The TAG has no financial support other than what it gets through donations and corporate support. In an effort to make this event a reality the TAG is seeking donations to cover the cost for this event. Denise Robitaille and Tracie Clifford made a 'pitch' to SAC to seek support from the Sections via any form of donation possible. The currently have about $11,000 (actually $11020 after I kicked in $20 bucks on the spot) and need about thrice that. The questions is "Are you willing to support the effort to host this event" through a personal donation, an organizational donation or through a member unit donation? If you want to donate, just call 800-248-1946 ext 7800.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Community Leadership Institute - CLI

I attended 4 sessions at this years CLI

  • Why member experiences matter: the experienntial economy presented by Jen Czajka

  • Using community to grow presented by Jeanine Becker

  • ASQ's social responsibility initiatives presented by Michelle Mason and Rick Perlman

  • Panel Discusion: member unit application of social media tools - panel included Aimee Siegler and Lori Derringer

My take aways from these sessions include:

Steps to begin creating a great member experience are:

  1. Identify experiences that amtter

  2. Harmonize the positive cues

  3. Eliminate the negative cues

  4. Mix in memorabilia

  5. Engage the five senses

The Gartner Study discusses behaviors in Social Networking.

Becker: many of ASQ's Subject Matter Experts take their knowledge for granted. Everyone knows what they know. They need to mentor those New to Quality.

The Quality Triple Bottom Line includes linkages between ISO 9000, the standard for Quality System Management, ISO 14000, the standard for Environemental Health and Safety Management and ISO 26000, the guideline for Social Responsibility.

There are Seven Core Issues that make up ISO 26000

  • Organization governance

  • Community involvement and development

  • Environment

  • Consumer issues

  • Fair operating practices

  • Labor practices

  • Human rights

ASQ is involved with the first 3 above areas.

Wiki's are great tools for document collaboration within a team and can be highly effective for Member Units Leadership Committees. Wiki's can be used to build newsletters, email announcements (e-blasts), meeting flyers, education and seminar announcements, etc.

LinkedIn is a great tool for Business Networking while Facebook is more appropriately used for personal / social networking. As a group it was suggested that Facebook pages or groups not be used by member units so as to keep your personal and professional networking separate.

The day ended with the QMP awards ceremony which included:

  • 83 Total Quality Awards for Sections

  • 13 McDermond Total Quality Awards for Divisions

  • 13 Division Excellence Awards (3 Gold, 4 Silver, 6 Bronze)

  • 90 Section Excellence Awards (26 Gold, 33 Silver, 31 Bronze)

Dinner followed the awards ceremony which included lots of laughs with old and new friends.

ITAG at the Community Leadership Institute

ITAG is the Ideas to Action Gathering

For quite a few years now ASQ has provided Member Leaders to opportunities on the Saturday before WCQI. The first, ITAG, is time to address pressing issues that leads to improving our ability to deliver value to our members and customers alike, to engage member leaders in Strategic discussion.

This year's ITAG was centered around ASQ's pursuit of the Wisconsin Forward state Quality Award. The criteria is a Baldrige based. For the 2011 application ASQ is incorporating member units to make this an organization / society wide pursuit. The focus of today's discussion was around Category 5 - work force which shifts from HQ to 'The Society'.

Some take-aways and a-ha moments included:

  • Application and feedback reports are always available

  • We are all the customers

  • Sections should consider applying to their state Awards program

  • Have we outlived Quality? Are we more about Business Excellence?

  • If I know why people stay in then I can affect preventive action to retain members

  • Members set the conditions of engagement

  • Ego is a barrier

  • All team members need to support the team

On a personal note, I think it's high time to engage the general membership in these discussions. Asking the same group of people the same time of questions continually leads to the same results. How can we, as member leaders in collaboration with staff, presume to know what members want if we don't ask?

Friday, May 13, 2011

In Pittsburgh, PA for CLI and WCQI

I arrived in Pittsburgh after a long drive at about 6:30 pm tonight. Upon entering the Westin Convention Center Hotel I was immediately greeted by a handful of old friends. One thing I've learned over the years of attending ASQs conferences is no matter what city we are in, we are at home, with our ASQ family.

Dinner tonight was with Aimee Siegler, Herb and Lori Goldstein right here in the hotel at the Orignial Fish Market. The tuna was delicious and the company wonderful.

Tomorrow morning is the start of the Communities Leadership Institute (CLI)...stay tuned...more to come!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Future of Quality

In a video blog (vblog) on A View from the Q, Paul Borawski posed several questions related to the recently completed Futures Study which addresses the future of Quality from the perspective of business and organizational leaders world-wide. Two (2) questions were asked of me:

  1. How do I see the forces playing themselves out in my work and my organization?

  2. When I think about these forces, what are the most pressing questions for which I want answers?

The 8 forces as described in the 2011 study are:

  • Global responsibility

  • Consumer awareness

  • Globalization

  • The increasing rate of change

  • Work force of the future

  • Aging population

  • 21st century quality

  • Innovation

If you've ever been a part of ASQ's World Cafe pertaining to the Future's Studies you know that a review of all the forces in a short time is next to impossible. Hence, I would like to address only 2 of the forces and focus on Paul's first query. The forces I will address are Work force of the future and Aging population as I am currently relating closely to both of these issues.

First I want to state that I am approaching 50...yes, 2011 is a big milestone year for me.

I've been quite fortunate over the past 15 years in that (1) I am technically savvy and (2) I've worked with organizations that embrace technology as a means to do business. That said, I've been in a position to set up a home office and work from that office on a regular basis. Not being in the brick and mortar that represents the Organization has never inhibited the work from being completed effectively, efficiently and timely. The overall benefit to the organization is that time has no bearing on when and how I accomplish my tasks. Being a task oriented person, I've realized that being in a given location for a predetermined period of time does not guarantee efficient use of that time.

My vision of the Work force of the future is one that is fluid and can complete the required work regardless of location, time, etc. In many businesses this may mean being within the brick and mortar but that is not essential to all parts of the company. Telecommuting opportunities must increase, especially with the increased costs of commuting. Furthermore, we've seen over the past 20 years that the 'company man' or 'life employee' is a thing of the past. I believe that more and more, we will see an increase in outsourcing of service functions within and organization including Sales, Customer Service, Accounting, HR, and even the Quality function just to name a few. Why employ average employees when we can outsource such services to talent beyond our organizations means?

With regard to the aging population, I currently work for a company that is about 35 years old. The average tenure of our production force is about 28 years. These employees may not be chronologially old yet but they are getting there and a younger crew is not following behind. As the US becomes a service oriented nation who is going to move into the remaining production environments?

I work with a gentleman named Ed. He is 76 years old and has worked here for 18 years. This is his retirement job. He sold his own business and came to work here in his 50's. What keeps him going, working 30 hours a week. Shear joy of working. Does his age have any bearing on his ability to perform. I say no. He is still teaching me about this business (I've been here for a little over a year now).

As the average age of the US and the world population increases and the size of the younger population decreases how will organizations keep up with the demand for qualified work-force. Again, I believe that the outsourcing of many functions will be the wave of the future.

On the subject of out sourcing I caution that we must consider local / domestic out sourcing before going off shore, regardless of where we are located.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

2011 ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement

Once again I will blog from WCQI.
This year, however, my posts will be here on my own blog page and ASQ will link to me.
So, keep your links open and visit often between May 14 and May 18.