ASQ Webinar August 4, 2021

I am speaking with the ASQ’s Human Developlement and Leadership Division on August 4th at 3 pm eastern on “Trust & Adaptability: Servant Leadership Lessons from Joining an Organization During a Pandemic” exploring from what Steven M. R. Covey wrote in Ken Blanchard and Renee’s Broadwell’s book Servant Leadership in Action that the key outcome for a servant leader is trust. Trust and servant leadership are both built on intent. The Trust built will allow your organization to be more adaptable. Adaptability builds resilience and allows innovation and transformation.

This talk will mostly focus on my continual learnings as I’ve worked, and usually struggled, to build trust during this pandemic in an environment where I’ve never met most of my co-workers.

Registration Link is https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5744331842761271563

Time to Move Away from Animal Testing

Outspoken watchdog group White Coat Waste Project recently released an analysis of nearly 200 new drug applications submitted to the FDA between 2000 and 2020 to describe the impact of animal modeling.

There is litle reason for these tests, and frankly I think we’d all be thrilled to no longer need them. The outdated regulations that drive to mandatory animal testing should be ended.

In the report, the organization took special aim at the use of beagles. Around 11,000 puppies and dogs were used to satisfy the FDA’s testing requirement during that 20-year period. And my puppy definitely does not approve. Just thinking of all that wasteful testing puts him to sleep.

Well, another virtual WCQI

Another, and hopefully, last virtual ASQ World Conference on Quality Improvement.

Stand out presentations:

  • John Dew’s on Metacognition, which is a critical part of reflective thinking and John is so right about it being a fundamental part of our profession. More on this one later as it has prompted a post.
  • Peter Gallagher on change management. Great slides, great summary of key points. Change management is my bread and butter and I always learn something from Peter.
  • Erin Urban “Steps for Leaders to Connect Better with Virtual Teams” is gold. Good presentation, engaging speaker and her section on creating tiny moments is pure gold.

Here are some other thoughts:

  • We need a requirement that every quote be checked. If I see one more “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast” attributed to Drucker I am going to cry.
  • Text heavy presentations with few graphics have got to go. Every presenter should have to attend a class on slide structure and build.
  • A virtual conference platform needs to do 3 things right – closed captioning of recorded presentations and ideally live ones, robust breakout sessions, easy to use chatting. The one used could use some work in all three areas. I would love to have seen a platform that easily integrated with the ASQ app on my phone as well.
  • My junk science bingo card is kind of full.
  • There is a very real discussion to be had about the use of the Service Mark in presentations when all someone is doing is using a standard tool (an annotated swimlane is not unique). The ASQ can be accused of being too much dominated by consultant companies and I think balance is important here.
  • Not understanding the sticking to 4:3 aspect ratio slides. 16:9 is better for conferences and video.

Virtual events are important, they enable inclusion. While I miss face-to-face events I do believe we should have a mix of events going forward. events that are more than passive webinars. So sick of webinars. Looking forward to experiments in making that blend happen. We’re experimenting with a storytelling event in the Team and Workplace Excellence Forum.

Quality Profession Needs to Stand for Quality in Public Practices

The Quality profession either stays true to its’ principles and ideals, or it is useless. We either support transparency and driving out fear or we don’t. Then we become the shallow, and dangerous crutch of demagogues and tyrants. One of the reasons Six Sigma has immense problems it still has not successfully grappled stems from how it is centered on the tyranny of Jack Welch.

The ASQ’s Government Division has taken a great step recently by endorsing the adoption of ISO/TS 54001:2019 “Quality management systems — Particular requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2015 for electoral organizations at all levels of government”.

We should be demanding elections built on the foundations of good quality. This should be part of electoral reform requirements at the Federal level. We need to oppose attempts to restrict voting. We need to drive fear out of our electoral system.

The United States is a signatory of international standards of policing. And yet no state follows those standards. Federal law needs to respect our treaty obligations and impose these standards, and we need to hold states and localities accountable.

As a quality professional I spend the day figuring out how to truthfully measure results. Yet an entire party has gleefully adopted lies and disinformation. I strive to democratize leadership, to build a culture of psychological safety. And yet all around us we see demagoguery.

Our workplace cultures are influenced greatly by external factors. We cannot hope to drive lies and fraud out of our systems, to create cultures of safety, to build excellence when all around us is a disregard for those standards. For this reason the quality profession must be political. It must standard for truth, for fair standards applied equitably. For driving out fear.

Reintroductions

When I first joined my current company I spent a lot of time introducing myself. I’ve been here now a year, and there are new folks, new relationships and most important we are getting ready to change our way of working by introducing hybrid work.

As a leader it’s important to be honest in who you are and how you work. The best technique I’ve seen for this is a user manual, a quick way to express what works and what does not work for interacting with me.

Mine looks like this:

My User Manual

I’ll be updating this as part of my team establishing a new team governance charter.