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.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Proposal for 2016 - Regional Interest Groups for Region 4 (ASQ Canada)

I have been reviewing the ASQ material and have discovered that the ASQ Regions have the capability to form interest groups.

I have also recognized that, after having reviewed multiple business plans for ASQ sections, there is a need for additional collaboration across geographic locations for specific themes.  I am contemplating the creation of the following Regional Interest Group committees in 2016:

1.       Mentorship:  This would be used to capture and track work done by ASQ members who mentor other professionals.  The committee would encourage this practice, promote a particular regimen or protocol, and provide a forum for updates and success stories.

2.       Innovation and Best Practices:  This would create a forum to support sections with their PAR Innovation applications, and propagate the great ideas that resulted from the Best Practices and Increase Impact committee work in 2015 .  This could also tie into the Innovation Division and the ASQ Innovation Library.  This also can be a forum to promote the efforts to bring sections up to required minimum levels of good standing.

3.       Collaborations and Partnerships:  This would be a forum to engage the liaisons of the TCC groups (ASQ Divisions, Technical Committees), particularly those individuals who are the Region 4 representatives.  Also if we want to do anything like a Region-wide conference or a third-party collaboration, these ideas can be shared in this forum.

4.       Communication:  It is in our best interest to stop operating our respective sections as 16 silos and synch up our respective schedules and communications.  This applies to print, web, and social media.  I also want to rein in the rogue communication (examples to follow in a separate email) and ensure that any message from ASQ comes from a sanctioned and legitimate member leader, and abides by the appropriate ASQ protocols and standards.

My approach will be to communicate these Regional Interest Groups and elicit participants.  I will take initial accountability for convening and scheduling calls (I expect one call per quarter to start), and depending on the level of interest, will assign a committee chair to a qualified and motivated individual. As Regional Director, I will manage the roster of participants, and endorse their participation as requested for ASQ Recertification and ASQ Fellow applications.

These are meant to support and enhance the Section Leadership Teams, and enhance the overall section and member experience.  The purpose of these committees is to formalize and track the valuable exchange of ideas and practices that already exists, but is not currently captured or credited for individual contributions at the regional level.  Recommendations made by these committees can be submitted to the Section Leadership Teams for their advisement, consideration, and approval.

As I mentioned, this is a proposal, and I am open to making adjustments and modifications.  My intent is to communicate this to the membership in December, invite participation, and form the committees in early 2016.  I welcome your comments and suggestions, and look forward to your collaboration and support. 

Ad-hoc participation on a committee can be credited toward Recertification Units (RU) (0.9 per year) 

Participation in an Interest Group Committee at the Regional Level is recognized with 5 points for ASQ Activities.  

Friday, November 13, 2015

What Would Eisenhower Think Of 2015?

Although I am Canadian, I have familiarized myself with some of the more interesting aspects of American history and its most prominent figures.  I particularly enjoyed reading the biography of the illustrious President and General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1960, the Republican candidate for U.S. President was Richard M. Nixon, a young but distinguished legislator in the U.S. Congress and Senate, who had served two full terms as the Vice-President of the United States under President Eisenhower.  When asked for an endorsement and to attest to any examples of Nixon's independent ideas that were adopted into law or policy, Eisenhower had a famous response that resonates with contempt and dismissal.

"If you give me a week, I might think of one.  I don't remember"

Eisenhower, who himself had been a protege of such eminent generals as Pershing, MacArthur, and Marshall, would have been fully aware of the power that a mentor has to vouch and confirm the attributes of his Republican successor.  This non-endorsement was very damaging and may have contributed to the 1960 defeat as President, and subsequent 1962 defeat as Governor of California.

55 years later, that same Republican party is in the process of selecting its current presidential candidate.  However as political campaigning is now a multi-billion dollar industry of event planning, communications, and lobbying, the attributes of the prospective candidates are much different.  Because of the constant television and internet coverage, the entertainment value of the prospective candidates is assessed as a priority.

Consider the current front runners; a celebrity businessman, a prominent past Fortune 500 CEO, a distinguished neurosurgeon, and a collection of past and present governors and senators.  The presidency is the senior executive officer of the public sector, operating as the head of not only the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, but also the military Commander In Chief.

As the candidate is the standard bearer for the Republican Party, it is the responsibility of the party to properly qualify its candidates.  Using simple diagnostic questions, the party should be able to quickly refine its pool of candidates to those with a reasonable background.

Describe and elaborate upon your most successful accomplishments:
  • As an executive officer in the public sector (i.e. governor, cabinet secretary, military leader)
  • As a legislator in a national body (senate, congress)
  • As a policymaker or regulator
  • Building consensus among those with differing positions to accomplish a new law, regulation, or government initiative
  • As a leader or influencer with respect to justice and/or law enforcement
  • In specific areas of federal government oversight (i.e. health and human services, foreign policy, trade and commerce, environment, energy, agriculture, etc.)
  • Of a personal or professional nature in the private or academic sector
By this list, the attributes of candidates like Trump, Fiorina, and Carson would only be considered after those with direct public sector experience had been fully exhausted.  An experienced figure like Eisenhower would immediately identify and call out the relative weaknesses of candidates in both parties, in terms far more harsh than he used for Nixon.

What does this have to do with Quality?  In order to have the best leader, there should be a vetting process to attract and select the best practitioners, while eliminating those who are not qualified nor capable of serving in high public office.

Aside from the aforementioned President Nixon, the political parties in the US are hesitant to recycle prior presidential candidates who were unsuccessful in their initial attempts.  Qualified and proven leaders like Al Gore, John Kerry, Joe Biden, John McCain, and Mitt Romney, who have executive experience, are not running for the 2016 presidency, despite their qualifications and positive national profile.  Elder statesmen like Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Walter Mondale, and Dick Cheney no longer have youth and vitality on their side, but are technically still qualified to serve as President.

If politics is now entertainment, then the natural progression is to select the candidates who appear most frequently on the gossip tabloids for their unsavory lifestyles and rumors.  One wonders how Eisenhower, a decent and principled patriot, would evaluate this cadre of presidential candidates.  Ultimately he would look past their demographic makeup and base his assessment on their actual performance.  It is no coincidence that quality gurus like Deming and Juran arose from the Eisenhower era, as their emphasis on facts and data reflected the "show me" mentality of midwestern USA.

Inspiration and the ability to incite passion and devotion are certainly admirable campaign credentials, but governance is based on experience and past performance.  I have read a few books by Bob Woodward and through his writings, have personally formed my own opinion of the most impressive public servant over the last 15 years, who would undoubtedly rise to the challenges of being Commander In Chief more effectively than any civilian or politician.  Unfortunately this individual is not a political candidate, and should he decide to enter, he would undoubtedly restore the ethic and prestige of the office not seen since the Eisenhower era.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What Exactly is ASQ Canada?

Nov. 11, 2015 is a time of celebration, reflection, and honoring our nations and cultures.  Whether you observe Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, Veterans Day, or Diwali, this is a day where a moment should be taken from your daily routines for contemplation and renewal.
As I contemplate the traditions and possibilities within my own country, Canada, I thought that it would be appropriate to take a moment to clarify exactly what is meant by ASQ Canada.  During my short time as a Regional Director of Region 4, I have observed some confusing and conflicting impressions and communications.

The source of information about ASQ is naturally the ASQ website at www.asq.org.  I have identified some very important references which I will share.

1. ASQ Timeline

The ASQ Timeline provides an interesting diverse history of ASQ, following its progress into the global professional organization into which it has currently evolved.  In 2004, there was an official recognition of the ASQ Region 4 to be classified as ASQ Canada.

ASQ’s board of directors voted to change the name of Region 4, which represented all 15 Canadian Sections, to ASQ Canada.

This is reinforced by the official description of ASQ Canada in a subsequent page.

2. Canada - Global Community

This is a dedicated page that summarizes ASQ as a professional organization for Canadians in Quality, and provides a link to the ASQ Sections in Canada and their chairs.


ASQ is the professional association of choice for quality professionals in Canada.
ASQ Canada is a community of 16 Canadian Sections from across the country. It includes nearly 5,000 members who bring quality to their work and their lives. ASQ Canada advances quality in all sectors through local workshops, inspirational presentations, plant tours, and monthly networking events.
Find the Right Work Force
Post your job opportunity and reach quality professionals in Canada.

Just to clarify, although the sections are located in Canadian cities and provinces, membership is available to citizens and residents of USA or international countries.  Mobility of membership and proximity to customers and business operations may create an advantage to joining a Canadian section.

3. ASQ Community Development

I am delighted to work with the ASQ Community Development team.  This exceptional team of ASQ staff members is based in the Canadian-adjacent state of Wisconsin, in the warm and welcoming city of Milwaukee. There are dedicated employees who support the teams of volunteers and member leaders in Canada with administrative, communications, and professional assistance.  For this reason, ASQ does not have a distinct office in Canada itself, nor should one be required when we are a toll-free call (1-800-248-1946) from receiving exceptional Customer Care from ASQ.

While ASQ Sections may have mailing addresses and business operations in Canadian cities, there are no full-time staff members permanently located in Canada.  All society-related communications and publicity is managed from the ASQ head office in Milwaukee, WI, USA.

4. Organization of ASQ Canada

As mentioned above, ASQ Canada refers to the geographic segmentation of ASQ into manageable units.  The link redirects the user to the ASQ Organization Manual which communicates the leadership from the top levels of ASQ to its constituent member units.

- Executive Council
- Board of Directors
- Section Affairs Council (Which includes Region 4 a.k.a ASQ Canada)
- Regional Director/ Deputy Regional Directors (as appointed by RD)
- Section Chairs
- Section Leadership team

With respect to Divisions, there is a Technical Communities Council which governs the various ASQ Divisions, Interest Groups, and Technical Committees. There are also committees, interest groups, and certification teams shown in the ASQ Leadership Manual.

It's very simple and straightforward.  The Section Chair of an ASQ Section is the ASQ Canada leader for that geography, and should be treated as such.  As the current Regional Director, I serve as a liaison between the ASQ Sections and the Section Affairs Council (think of it as a parliamentary body), and in turn work with the Sections to ensure that required levels of vitality, activity, and compliance are met.

The ASQ has other Technical Communities with regional or international councilors.  These individuals are certainly welcome to work with the section at the local level, or the RD or DRD across Canada.  However with respect to ASQ Canada as a regional entity, there are no officers or official roles beyond the elected Regional Director or the appointed Deputy Regional Directors.  To claim otherwise is in violation of ASQ Bylaws (2.3.6) by which Members shall not claim to represent the Society in any unauthorized manner.

5. ASQ Canada summarized from membership upwards

- ASQ has different types of members, ranging from Organizational to Student, Associate, Full, Senior, Fellow, and Honorary members.
- ASQ Members in Canada generally belong to one of the ASQ Sections, primarily assigned by geographic proximity.  This can be amended at the request of the ASQ member.
- ASQ Sections in Canada comprise Region 4, which in 2004 was approved by the ASQ Board of Directors to refer to itself as ASQ Canada
- ASQ Canada is part of the portfolio of ASQ regions, and is represented by a Regional Director (as a voting member of ASQ Section Affairs Council) and Deputy Regional Directors (non-voting members of ASQ Section Affairs Council)
- ASQ Section Affairs (SAC) reports up to the ASQ Board of Directors, which is led by the ASQ Executive Council.

These are the legitimate positions within ASQ Canada, as documented within the current ASQ references and policies.  If there are any questions or clarifications required, please contact ASQ Customer Care at 1-800-248-1946.