Dieter Eckstein

Dear Quality Professionals,

One of the biggest benefits that I have experienced from being an ASQ Member has been the exposure to great learning experiences from hearing remarkable speakers.  At times, we are in the trenches and don’t really see the answers, even when signs are written all over the walls.  Sometimes, it takes a shift of our paradigm to find those illusive answers!

I had the privilege to attend the World Conference for Quality and Improvement last month and it didn’t disappoint, I found a few “gold nuggets”.  Here is one…

Stephen Hacker, the former ASQ Chair, spoke to a room of Member Leaders about what he called “Tsunamis of Change and Complexity”.  This comes from a book that he wrote where he speaks about the need to “transform” ourselves to be able to ride the wave of accelerated and more complex changes to our lives and the world.

He explained how in the past, change would spread over a number of years and now change could happen in a matter of minutes, days, and the change would usually be more complex.  For example, the changes in the automotive industry for the production line concept, was developed over years.  Nowadays, technology, social media, the ease of travel, to name a few, make change much faster.  New cell phone models, for example, are developed, released and in the market in a matter of months.  Add to that the complexity that is added with changes.  For example, competition between virtual businesses and brick and mortar establishments are making big store chains close their doors or adapt.  These are complexities that define what years ago were not even possibilities.

Communication of good and bad products is faster through social media, the internet, two of the biggest technological changes we are witnessing and being part of these days.  Careers can be made or destroyed in a matter of days.  We saw Bill O’Reilly’s 20+ year show come to an abrupt end.  The Samsung Note 7 was removed from the market in weeks and its reputation was demolished.  Is it possible to slow change?

Mr. Hacker recommends that instead, we transform our lives by using transformational leadership.  This type of transformation starts with “personal reflection of purpose”.  Why do we do what we do?  This ‘purpose’ can provide the direction and ease to “ride” with the change instead of being swept away by it.

Quality is helping transform the world, but the world is also transforming Quality.  The business world needs Quality professionals to look beyond the enforcement of products, company policies, procedures and operating standards.  There is a need for Quality Professionals to stay current with technology advances, to be willing to engage other roles, help find innovation, but most importantly … be part of the change.

The tsunami of change has been powerful to change the world, now that these change tsunamis are happening faster and more complex, are you ready to ride with the wave or will you be swept by it.

Sincerely,

Sincerely,
Dieter Eckstein, BSBM, ASQ CMQ/OE, CQA

Section Chair, ASQ Orange Empire 0701