February, me and the ASQ

February is a busy month for me and the ASQ.

February 11th – Boston Section meeting on “Mixed Reality in Quality 4.0”

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are more than just a science fiction dream, with the market expected to exceed $50 billion by 2024.

The technology promises that workers will have more information about the task at hand, which makes them more efficient and productive. In this session we will explore several opportunities the technologies present and provide a glimpse on how Thermo Fisher Scientific is working with key technology providers to implement on the pharmaceutical manufacturing floor.

It will be fun to discuss some of the fun stuff I’m working on at work. Thermo Fisher is hosting the event at the Waltham facility, which I haven’t even visited yet. Should be a fun time.

February 23-25, Lean and Six Sigma Conference in Phoenix

At the conference I will be presenting on “Sustaining Change – Executing a Sustainability Plan.” Sustaining change is one of my core competencies, and I’m excited to continue the conversation on this. If you re coming to the conference I look forward to seeing you there.

February 29, Unconference for the Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

What better day to hold an unconference on leap day, an un-day.

We have a stimulating day planned. We will be discussing team excellence and quality culture and contributing to development of a body of knowledge for the Team and Workplace Excellence Forum. The agenda is here.

The Unconference is free to members of the ASQ. For non-ASQ members there is a charge of $15.00 per person for lunch.

Please RSVP by February 24th, so we can reserve a seat for you. We are looking forward to seeing you there. If there is anything you will need or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know. The RSVP is here.

The my.ASQ.org event page is here: https://my.asq.org/communities/events/item/170/60/1568

It is going to be a great way to end the month and I hope you can join us.

Building Experts

Subject matter experts have explicit knowledge from formal education and embedded in reports, manuals, websites, memos, and other corporate documents. But their implicit and tacit knowledge, based on their experience, is perhaps the source of their greatest value — whether the subject-matter expert with decades of experience who is lightning fast with a diagnosis and almost always spot-on or the manager whose team everyone wants to be on because she’s so good at motivating and mentoring.

Experts, no matter the domain, tend to have very similar attributes. Understanding these attributes allows us to start understanding how we build expertise.

DimensionExperts Demonstrate
Cognitive
Critical know-how and “know-what”Managerial, technical, or both; superior, experience-based techniques and processes; extraordinary factual knowledge
System thinkingKnowing interdependencies, anticipating consequences, understanding interactions
JudgementRapid, wise decision making
Context AwarenessAbility to take context into account
Pattern RecognitionSwift recognition of a phenomenon, situation, or process that has been encountered before
Behavioral
Networking (“Known-who”)Building and maintaining an extensive network of professionally important individuals
InterpersonalAbility to deal with individuals, including motivating and leading them; comfort with intellectual disagreement
CommunicationAbility to construct, tailor, and deliver messages through one or more media to build logical and persuasive arguments
Diagnosis and cue seekingAbility to actively identify cues in a situation that would confirm or challenge a familiar pattern; ability to distinguish signal from noise
Physical
SensoryAbility to diagnose, interpret, or predict through appropriate senses
Attributes of an Expert

One of the critical parts of being a subject matter expert is being able to help others absorb knowledge and gain wisdom through learn-by-doing techniques— guided practice, observation, problem solving, and experimentation.

Think of this as an apprenticeship program that provides deliberate practice with expert feedback, which is fundamental to the development of expertise.

Do your organizations have this sort of organized way to train an expert? How does it work?

Unconference for ASQ Team and Workplace Excellence

The Team and Workplace Excellence Forum is excited to be hosting an Unconference, and I am excited to be able to invite you to the workshop at Masary Studios in Boston, MA on February 29th from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm.

An unconference is basically a conference without predefined topics. The high level structure and theme is team excellence and quality culture, but actual topics are generated by the participants on the spot, and breakout groups are formed dynamically based on interest and relevance.

We have a stimulating day planned. We will be discussing team excellence and quality culture and contributing to development of a body of knowledge for the Team and Workplace Excellence Forum. The agenda is here.

The Unconference is free to members of the ASQ. For non-ASQ members there is a charge of $15.00 per person for lunch.

Please RSVP by February 23rd, so we can reserve a seat for you. We are looking forward to seeing you there. If there is anything you will need or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know. The RSVP is here.

The my.ASQ.org event page is here: https://my.asq.org/communities/events/item/170/60/1568

VUCA – Accented Just Right It is a Profanity

Talk about strategy, risk management or change and it is inevitable that the acronym VUCA — short for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity—will come up. VUCA is basically a catchall for “Hey, it’s crazy out there!” And like many catch-all’s it is misleading, VUCA conflates four distinct types of challenges that demand four distinct types of responses. VUCA can quickly become a crutch, a way to throw off the hard work of strategy and planning—after all, you can’t prepare for a VUCA world, right?

The mistake folks often make here is treating these four traits as a single idea, which leads to poorer decision making.

VUCA really isn’t a tool. It’s a checklist of four things that hopefully your system is paying attention to. All four represent distinct elements that make our environment and organization harder to grasp and control. 

ASQ BOSCON

The Boston Section of the ASQ is hosting the 39th annual BOSCON March 30-31, 2020 at the Airport Hilton hotel & conference center here in Boston.

ASQ BOSCON is proably the biggest and best run regional quality conference. I’ve been going for years and I highly recommend it to everyone.

The BOSCON 2020 theme is Performance Excellence—Your Competitive Edge. “To succeed in today’s digital economy, Quality must lead the way. Quality principles and practices are essential, but practitioners must innovate, learn and lead in how they are adapted to the digital age.”

The Team and Workplace Excellence Forum is proud to be a silver level sponsor. We firmly believe in quality’s role to build a culture of excellence, and that the challenges of the digital age are exciting ones to overcome.

A strongly recommended conference and I hope folks will be able to attend. Registration information can be found here.

There are also some good classes for certification preparation being offered after the conference for the Supplier Quality, Biomedical Auditor and Reliability Engineer certifications.