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A QualitEvolution is intended to capture positions and experiences as a participant in the evolution of the Quality profession into the 21st century. From its origins as the brainchild of Corporate Industrial Statisticians, our profession has transformed and evolved to incorporate and adapt to the demands and expectations of our modern existence.

The scope of the subject matter within A QualitEvolution extends to the furthest ranges of quality, business transformation, management science, and quality issues especially pertinent to the members of ASQ in Canada.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Linking To Talent

This article is for the benefit of ASQ sections and divisions who wish to delight and impress those attending meetings.  While ASQ communities are expected and encouraged to build the skills and capabilities of their own members, there are times when it is inspiring and refreshing to enjoy the work of others who, by virtue of their expertise and proficiency, can display their talents and panache to the pleasure and delight of all.  

ASQ has been engaging guest speakers and teams throughout its history.  This is a practice which, if done in a manner that meets and surpasses expectations, can be satisfying and delightful for the attendees and organizers, and fulfilling for those who are extended the privilege and opportunity to present.  I will refer to this practice as “Linking To Talent”.

Linking to Talent is a practice that benefits all, and raises the level of performance to new standards.  By using our own members, this demonstrates how we can be inspired by the quality within our region and location.

Organizers can link to talent through personal connections.  As we have many learned and well-travelled communicators within the profession, a few informal phone calls could readily generate ideas of potential candidates for speakers or presenters.  This is particularly important if an organizer has to make a sudden substitution for a key event or presentation.  Professional conferences like WCQI support this by arranging for contingency or “back-up” speakers or presenters.  Conversely, those who become proficient can cultivate a reputation and following that will place a demand on their participation.

To simplify and support this type of exchange and interaction, I propose that the ASQ sections and divisions support this by placing a contact list on their websites.  This would be voluntary, and would need to abide by the privacy requirements to avoid improper communications to participants.  I believe that this type of resource would support members, organizers, participants, and raise the quality level of our meetings and events.  It would also create visibility of our “homegrown talent” in order to enhance the prestige and reputation of such accomplished speakers and attractions.

I view this an initiative which can be completed as a Quick Win, and can be done in a few manageable steps:

Step 1:   Invite and elicit participants, requesting their descriptions of their talents and capabilities with respect to speaking or demonstrating their expertise.  Ensure that they include the scope and breadth of their travel and time commitments.

Step 2: Aggregate and categorize the list of participants to create portfolios of speakers.  This can reveal a level of depth and coverage, and will identify whether particular areas are thin and need further development.

Step 3: Upload this onto a commonly available but secured website.  This can be updated in a manner similar to the ASQ Leadership Directory, which is available in a password protected portion of the ASQ website.

Step 4: Socialize and communicate this resource to section and division leaders (including the Membership Chair and Programs Chair).  Having access to an updated list will actually create demand and entice the creation of innovative programs to showcase talent for the members.

Step 5: Encourage new participants to continually add to the “talent pool”.  Continue to maintain and raise the standard of performance so that proficiency becomes the norm.

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