ASQ WCQI 2023 – Member Leader Day

ASQ WCQI starts with Member Leader Day, the one time a year when we actually get the chance to get a large group of member leaders together.

The ASQ continues to grapple with demographics, and I would love to see the demographics of this group of member leaders. Given that 76% of member leaders joined between 1970 and 2020. I would love to see that a little more granular by decade.

I know that the divisions send 2 members each, but I am not sure what sections are allowed for conferences and travel. Given the huge amount of sections compared to divisions, I would not be surprised if there is a different dynamic. If so, then that would skew the demographics even more.

We made it 12 minutes before the membership challenge was brought up. The value of a professional association remains critical to my mind. I feel that a lot of folks in my own organization don’t see the value, let alone among the wider professional group (and I pay for an ASQE membership as well as a few others for people to take advantage of).

Stephanie Gaulding then presented a diversity moment drawing from a post Belonging: A Conversation about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Diagram from Turner Consulting Group 

We then did a brainwriting activity (yes!) on “What is one thing we, as ASQ, Member Leaders, can do together to increase the Society’s value to our members?”

Our table consolidated around push vs pull communications and the value of a personal connection. Other tables talked about entrepreneurship (overuse of the buzz term if you ask me); student organization connections; the value of fun.

I look forward to seeing the full list. More importantly, I would like to see the follow-up. Aspirational activities often end up being just that, with little follow-through.

The CFO then discussed the “Short Term Fixed Income Investment Fund” which seems more directed to the Sections (which seem to sit on a lot of than the Division. Given that on the Division basis, it usually feels like a total lack of money, not sure of the value of this. I definitely zoned out.

And then we got the 3+ year debate on Division funding grumbling through the Q&A. Only took 40 minutes.

We then broke into Geogaphic Communities (the sections) and Technical Community (the divisions). I went to the technical meeting, as I am currently serving as chair-elect of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Division.

One can take, from posts like ASQ Technical Forums and Divisions as Knowledge Communities and my thoughts from the 2022 Member Leader Day that I have struggled over the years with the concept of the technical community (divisions). For all the changes happening in the ASQ, blowing up the technical communities would be my favorite thing to happen.

As an aside, the tendency to focus on longevity as a member leader may be counterintuitive to our desperate need to have new member leaders get more engaged.

Scholarship and Donations (including Sponsorship, Grant, and Honorariums) have been a source of discussion for years. Well overdue in having a procedure for this.

It is always embarrassing when folks ask where to find operating procedures. Document/Content management is a core part of the Quality profession, and the fact member leaders continue to complain they aren’t aware of procedure and do not know how to find it is a black mark.

Way too much time spent on scholarships, it is a small segment of our work yet something we discuss a lot. Not even sure why this is such a hard matter, every kid going to college I know uses CommonApp Having 2 kids currently in college I got to know CommonApp really well). Put the scholarships in that, go from there.

And then myASQ was the topic. Same old topic, new platform. I haven’t had a chance to use the new platform that went live on May 1st. Frankly, my.ASQ has never been part of my daily or weekly internet diet, and often my engagement was driven by folks tagging me and me seeing an email. Hopefully, it will be easier to use and drive more content and discussion. Driving engagement is so critical. And at its heart lies the problem core to a lot of ASQ activities, poor communication.

Communication is a theme throughout today. It is a return to fundamentals around communication plans.

Four board initiatives:

  • Quality 4.0
  • Economic and Environmental Sustainability – this is a hard one for me. I agree we should be discussing, but in every organization I’ve been in, Quality is not welcome at this table.
  • NextGen Mentoring
  • Conference/Event Improvement

Financial Update – everyone’s favorite topic! At the end of the day, the membership cliff means everything to the budget (and lack thereof)

I am becoming more and more convinced that the individual membership model is dead. Individuals cannot afford and do not see the value of paying for a membership, so the only way to get members is to make organizations see the value. And there’s the challenge.

Congratulations to all the member units who won Performance Excellence Program (PEP) awards.

I would like to state that any rubric that is secret is not really a rubric. Also, secret scoring mechanisms may be antithetical to quality principles. Make that PEP rubric public!

myASQ Engagement

I worry that myASQ continues to falter because it is viewed as a social medial tool instead of a knowledge management tool that drives communities of practice. That said, this transition has been driven more by member leaders than past attempts, which makes me feel positive that it will meet some unmet needs.

Like a lot of things, a few more tools like job aids would be greatly appreciated.

ASQE Insights of Excellence and the Quality Body of Knowledge

I am so excited we have moved this ahead. I participated in developing this tool and seeing where it is going excites me so much. So much that this will be another post later this week.

Wrap Up Thoughts

I am so done talking about the impact of the new membership model and whether or not member units were ripped off. And the spin off of the ASQE. And the debacle of the first launch of myASQ.

I want to focus on QBoK and member value realization and how the future is in organizations and not individual members. And doing cool things like poster sessions and a few other ideas in the works as I do the 2nd half of my chair-elect term and gear up for my term as chair of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic division.

I have so many thoughts on IoE and QBoK that will definitely be a separate post. Probably after the ASQE meeting on Tuesday.

Now is a good time to be active in a professional organization

Many of us are wondering just how we are going to get through the next few months of self-isolation. I’d like to recommend getting active in a professional organization.

Amazingly enough this can be a good time to strengthen your network, further your career or maybe even build some friendships. Professional organizations can enhance your personal and professional development and provide endless networking opportunities. Look around your community—there are bound to be a plethora of organizations (from small local start-ups to national chapters) for you to join.

A professional association can your professional home. It is the place where people in the same field will come to know you, support you, and nurture your growth and development. Especially now for those of us who are self-isolating, our professional associations can mitigate the potential isolation and loneliness of our work. There’s nothing quite like sharing in the excitement of learning about new understandings and techniques with others who share the challenges and the joys of the profession. There’s nothing quite as supportive as a group of people who have “been there and done that”. There is nothing quite like sharing your own experiences and hard-won lessons.

Like I said above, there are a lot of professional associations out there. I belong to a plethora of industry (PDA, RAPS), subject area (ACMP, PPA) and domain (ASQ). Right now my heart is certainly fully committed to the ASQ and the Team and Workplace Excellence Forum, but you do you and find the organizations that work for you. But if you need help navigating the ASQ, or are looking for opportunities to get involved, let me know.

So what can you be doing right now to leverage a professional organization? Especially right now? I think there are four major areas to look at:

Colleagueship: Associations are the primary way that people do face-time networking with people who share our professional interests. Most organizations are offering a lot of online options to make it possible to network with people all over the world. Get your face out there and build those connections. And when we can all get together again, keep at it.

Education: We’re in a rapidly changing field. It can take years for good research to make it into print. Now is a great time to catch up and then stay up to date and knowledgeable about new trends in the field. Take an online course. Ask questions.

Information: Association journals, bulletins and newsletters, websites and mailing lists are often the first place that new developments in the field are published. Many associations use their media to alert their members to more than research. Articles and news items also inform us about changes in governmental policies, new trends and other issues that impact the field.

Career Development: Engage in education offerings. Now is a good time to work on that certification. Eventually there will be opportunities again to attend conferences and present a poster or workshop, but right now heavily use the forums and other tools to get that experience of sharing your work and develop your credentials. Further, associations often have listings of job opportunities that are only available to members.

Above all, Stay Inspired and Stay Motivated.  Love what you do! It is important to be proactive about things you discover on the journey. Get out there, post, ask questions, answer questions, read and then share what you are reading.

In the routine of remote working you are building, now is a great time to make a habit of blocking off a little time in your calendar to go online and contribute. For fellow ASQ members I hope to see you at my.ASQ.