About This Blog

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.

Monday, September 29, 2014

ASQ Awards linked by 5 key attributes

Oct. 1 is the upcoming deadline for ASQ Awards.  In an effort to clarify what these awards recognize, it is important to distill them down to their essential components.  A quick review of the past medalists of ASQ awards reveals that a number of people are multiple recipients of ASQ recognitions, including ASQ Fellow and Honorary Membership designations.

I have created this list of 5 attributes in order to encourage those who may not yet realize that they are in fact qualified and capable of attaining these recognitions.  These attributes are frequently cited across the ASQ Awards, so building up these credentials will enhance the suitability of anyone interested in additional recognitions.

1. Education and Professional Background

This is a key prerequisite. As the quality profession has many distinguished participants, it is essential to measure up to and surpass the standard expectations.  This is necessary to filter out the more transient practitioners who attempt to "reinvent" themselves as quality experts without having the necessary depth or breadth of professional or educational accomplishments.

2. Technical Competence and Contributions

This is important to demonstrate the distinctive contributions that have innovated and expanded the value of Quality to its constituents.  At a minimum, anyone aspiring to be recognized should first consistently demonstrate their capabilities and credibility.  Without this step, the value and importance of ASQ recognitions would be severely diminished.

3. Practical Application of Quality

This is where the value of the work to the profession and society is conveyed and compared.  Quality is often derided as "theory" by those who are resistant to change and protective of their particular status quo.  Only when Quality is convincingly demonstrated to have beneficial effects on outcomes, costs, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement will the methods or techniques be truly embraced and sustained.

4. Publications, Presentations, and Communications

This is a critical component as no ASQ recognition is possible without fulfilling the requirement of a nomination form, which in and of itself is a communications endeavor.  A common evaluation criteria is the array of publications and presentations, particularly those produced within the last 2 years.  It is therefore important to not only be productive in this area, but to diligently track such publications and their impacts. For example, work done through ASQ Press or ASQ Journals is captured in the archives and easily referenced within ASQ.

5. Leadership in the Quality Profession

This refers to leadership within the employer or firm, and within professional societies like ASQ.  Leadership is viewed at multiple levels, along with the accomplishments attained.  The impact of the individual on others, whether fellow Quality practitioners, organizations, clients, or geographic territories (i.e. cities, states, countries, sub-continents), must be tangible.

To emphasize the importance, I have pasted the criteria provided by ASQ on their nomination form for selection to the ASQ Board.  From this list, the characteristics of leadership should be cultivated and expanded over time.

Leadership Competency

1. Fostering a Shared Vision
Communicates a clear and inspiring vision for change, attains the commitment of others to accomplish the vision
2. Strategic Thinking
Takes a long-range perspective, understands trends affecting ASQ, considers competitive benchmarks when making decisions, proposes strategies that align with ASQ's mission, vision, and values
3. Customer-Driven Focus
Seeks and considers data-based information on the perspectives of members, member units, and other customers; prioritizes projects based on alignment with customers' expectations; relies on customer satisfaction data as the primary basis for decision making
4. Staff Partnership
Seeks and considers data-based information on the perspectives of staff, takes staff perspectives into account when prioritizing projects, relies on staff satisfaction data as the primary basis for decision making
5. Stakeholder Considerations
Seeks and considers data-based information on the perspectives of other stakeholders, takes stakeholders' perspectives into account when prioritizing projects, relies on stakeholder satisfaction data as the primary basis for decision making
6. Decision Making
Manages by fact but is sensitive to time constraints that limit the depth of data collection and analysis, takes calculated risks when significant opportunities are involved, willing to make difficult decisions that will improve ASQ's future, articulates the rationale associated with decisions, adopts decisions "as own" when they differ from original perspective, assumes responsibilities for the decisions that are made and their results
7. Leadership Development
Identifies potential leaders, seeks opportunities for potential leaders to learn and practice, provides specific performance feedback to potential leaders
8. Living Within Boundaries
Seeks to understand roles and boundaries of position, focuses attention on areas for which accountability and authority are clearly established, provides feedback on work accomplished in other areas without expecting changed approaches or decisions
9. Accountability
Accepts appropriate assignments that don't jeopardize routine duties and previous assignments; meets expectations within time, budget, and other constraints; accepts responsibility for setbacks
10. Teamwork
Understands when to use teams to achieve goals, participates equally well as a team leader or member, avoids dysfunctional behaviors, coaches team members through challenging work
11. Flexibility
Welcomes new ideas that don't fit with existing perceptions, demonstrates a high tolerance for ambiguity and change, seeks win/win strategies for planned changes
12. Communications
Listens actively to others' comments and presentations, invests time and effort to understand others' written and verbal documents and presentations, communicates thoughts clearly and concisely both verbally and in writing
13. Technical Knowledge and Skills
Understands ASQ's portfolio of products and services, demonstrates proficiency in most areas of ASQ's Body of Knowledge, seeks to increase learning and keep abreast of new developments in the field
14. Global Perspective
Seeks to understand cultural differences and their effect on projects and decisions, incorporates global considerations into all planning efforts, endorses projects that expand ASQ's reach globally
15. Social Responsibility
Seeks solutions that minimize wasted time, efforts, materials, etc.; exemplifies ethical behavior; supports total transparency of ASQ's governance actions (except when members' confidential information is involved)
16. Personal Approaches
Behaves with openness and predictability, maintains a realistic but optimistic outlook for the future, faces adversity without excessive stress or regrettable behaviors, demonstrates consistent values that align with ASQ's values, balances needs for authority with a strong need for accomplishment

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