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.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Quality IS Global, It's ASQ That's Still Regional

Well, it is not often that I find my opinion at a divergence with the sentiments expressed on View From the Q, but the recent article about The Globalization of Quality frankly expresses a viewpoint with which I cannot in good conscience agree, nor let stand without a counterpoint.

The official message is that ASQ, by virtue of its Quality Body of Knowledge (QBok), is undertaking the grand initiative of propagating Quality from the United States to foreign countries.

The facts suggest a different narrative.  Within the recent history of ASQ, the recognitions have trended away from the traditional American "good ol' boys" and more toward the international participants, as well as those who have traditionally suffered from systemic discrimination. Consider the following trends:

- Of the recent 15 new ASQ Fellows, 5 are located outside of the United States.  Although the percentage of Global membership is smaller, fully 33% of members at the highest level originate from those very countries and continents that ASQ aspires to enlighten.

- The International Team Excellence Competition profiles the successful teams at this website.   The victorious teams originate from diverse locations including Dubai, Argentina, Malaysia, South Africa, India, China, Thailand, Mexico, and the far reaches of the inhabited world.  The best examples of applied Quality practices demonstrate that Quality is global, and is not restricted to any particular culture or geography.

- The ASQ Feigenbaum Medal not only recognizes an accomplished quality practitioner at or under 35 years of age, it serves as a predictive indicator of future ASQ leaders.  It is interesting to note that among the Feigenbaum Medal recipients, there are no "good ol' American boys".  This progressive award has acknowledged the contributions of members originating from foreign nations (outside of the USA), visible minorities, and women. There is no affirmative action mandate - the criteria for this award has remained true to the edicts and ethics of Dr. A.V. Feigenbaum, and recipients possess the virtues and credentials valued by ASQ.

I predict that in 10 years (or sooner), the composition of the ASQ Executive team, Board of Directors, and leadership councils (SAC, TCC, GAC) will reflect the cosmopolitan nature and global diversity of ASQ's membership, and will have even greater representation of females, internationals, and visible minorities, not from mandated affirmative action or diversity quota, but from superior merit and ability.

In contrast, ASQ still operates as a regional enterprise,  For ASQ to be truly global, it must first arise from its regional limitations and service gaps affecting North America. which include:

- The Customer Care department is staffed from 7AM-5PM Central time.  This permits ASQ to provide the necessary services to members during core business hours in Eastern and Central time.  However members in Mountain and Pacific time zone do not have similar convenience for their membership dollar.  A better approach would be for ASQ Customer Care to provide live agents during business hours for all of North America, starting at 8AM Eastern and finishing the day at 5PM Pacific.

- There is an ASQ section (404) which is specifically targeted for the French-speaking population of Montreal, Quebec.  Quebec is a Canadian province which has French as its primary language.  While ASQ offers itself as a professional society for Francophones, it does not employ anyone in its Customer Care group who is fluent in French (one of the official languages of the North American country of Canada).  It would seem that before ASQ extends its capabilities to overseas members, it should aspire to adequately address its membership base in North America first.

In my role as a Regional Director for Region 4 (Canada), which includes Quebec and the Mountain and Pacific time zones, I have proposed the expansion of ASQ's Customer Care to address these specific Service Quality gaps.  Unfortunately I have not encountered anyone at ASQ willing to take ownership for the timely resolution of these service limitations.

In his post, ASQ CEO commented on the service expectations for the global Quality community, and the question as to whether ASQ is doing enough to accomplish the mission.

"Given that, we have an obligation to serve our global members. We want them to feel welcome, supported, and listened to.  In some cases that meant we needed a presence on the ground to better understand and serve their needs."

"This month my question to you is: ASQ’s mission statement talks about increasing the use and impact of quality in response to the diverse needs of the world?  Are we doing enough, throughout the world, to accomplish that mission?"

Well, for ASQ to have an adequate presence on the ground globally, it must first meet the inherent challenges present in North America.  If this cannot be reasonably accomplished from Milwaukee, then an expansion or relocation is necessary to ensure adequate coverage of all of the "nations" within North America.  Based on the existing service gaps, only 7 of the 11 nations are fully served by ASQ Customer Care, with New France, the Left Coast, the Far West, and El Norte getting the short end of the deal.


  1. ASQ definitely cannot propagate their standards for quality service, if they haven’t ascended its regional limitations and service gaps. They must at least set a high quality performance – in terms of costumer care – with the remaining four nations, in line with the other seven, for them to be able to reach out globally. But anyway, I believe that ASQ is doing great in voicing out quality, which is pretty great. Thank you for sharing this with us, Daniel. All the best!

    Barton Wilson @ International Standards Authority, Inc.

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