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.
Adam J. Gustein and John Sviokla explore a topic that is probably on many people’s minds in the Harvard Business Review in the article “7 Skills That Aren’t About to Be Automated.”
In this article seven skills are set out seven skills that make you employable no matter what: communication, content, context, emotional competence, teaching, connections, and an ethical compass.
It is a good, broad, skill set and also demonstrates exactly what every quality professional should have. And points out a great direction for growth.
I am a big fan of the seven basic quality tools, but the day is quickly coming when four of them will be fully automated (Control charts, Histogram, Pareto chart, and Scatter diagram). Most big companies already have pilots in place as part of their big digital transformations.
A fun example of just why this skill set matters can be seen from playing with a semantic network like ConceptNet. Look a look at the word quality, and you see pretty easy why several of the above skills make a difference and will continue to do so.
Quality professionals are well placed on many of these skills. As automation continues the life of a quality professional will change. This change brings us a great many opportunities, and isn’t that one of quality’s core competencies?
Jason Kottke is spot on “Open offices result in less collaboration among employees”
In the past few weeks I’ve had more and more upset conversations with co-workers who have moved to open office work locations. And the Royal Society study that Jason references is a good read for anyone contemplating open spaces.
Being here in Boston, and having done my share of hanging out at MIT, I’ve seen some good open space concepts. But what the best ones actually do is create modular areas of privacy and areas for scalable interactions. And this is what the application of open offices I’m seeing in the corporate world are missing.
I’m hoping to ride this trend out. Or at least until the open office concept has been improved to a more scalable modularized office. I know it is currently one of my criteria for considering moving jobs and I’ve turned down an offer because of the location’s open office.
How folks work contributes to the culture. We should be driving interaction, collaboration (another problematic concept according to some studies) and problem-solving. Folks sitting with headsets on as they wait to get a Skype call does none of that. As the research shows, and anecdotal evidence supports, open spaces drive down productivity and make folks more likely to tune out and move on to a new job.