Saturday, July 26, 2014

How ASQ Uses Social Media to Spread the Voice of Quality

Social Media is the most happening buzzword of today.  When we talk about social, people think about FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogger, WhatsApp, Hangout etc.  Going social certainly helps one to improve their knowledge - learn something new, add newer thoughts and dimensions to an existing idea, share information with others etc.  Social Media supports both offline (say, blogger) and online (example, Google Hangout)  interactions.  Both these modes have its own advantages and disadvantages.   Recent focus is more towards lively and real-time online interactions. 

Knowing the power of blogging, during 2012, ASQ embarked on an initiative called Influential Voices, wherein a select set of bloggers (ASQ members) write about quality and related topics on a regular basis. This initiative, ongoing and continuously improving, has been a good success with member representation from many parts of the world(India, Ecuador, China, Malaysia, Australia, and the United States).  It has helped ASQ to spread the voice of quality all over the world in a quicker and effective manner.  As part of this initiative, every month, the ASQ CEO writes on a key quality topic or his experience and asks the influential voices to reflect further and publish in their personal blogs. Currently, there are 21 active and 11 influential voices that contribute towards this initiative.  The links to these blogs are also published/retweeted on a monthly basis in FaceBook and Twitter under the ASQ/influential voices user handles.  I invite you to take time to read the blogs written by these passionate bloggers.  

Moving from the offline to real-time online social media interactions, on 23rd July 2014, ASQ team conducted a live Google Hangout with the ASQ Influential Voices bloggers, including Dan Zrymiak, Jennifer Stepniowski, Edwin Garro, and Babette Ten Haken and other participants. You can Watch the Hangout or get more details. About 35 people participated in this live hangout. Participants appreciated ASQ for this novel approach to sharing and social networking in practice.

I am sure that more online social interactions are going to happen, in future, which can exponentially raise the voice of quality.  Newer initiatives such as A View from the Q Blog, ASQ TV, a newer and modern looking ASQ website, active discussions by ASQ in social forums etc., are very effective and useful to the quality community.

Last but not the least, the efforts of Julia, Communications Specialist at ASQ is highly commendable. She coordinates and motivates fellow ASQ members, bloggers to stay focused in their communication efforts to spread the voice of quality.  Thank you Julia.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Importance of Organization Focus and Vision

Bill has come up with another interesting blog post asking fellow bloggers to comment on right organization focus and vision.  He writes about his experience at the recent European Organization for Quality Annual Congress, the speeches from Professor Noriaki Kano and Mr. Ulf Gustavsson of Ikea and his visit to the Volvo automobile manufacturing factory.

One striking thing that I noticed, from Bill’s post, is the “practical” focus on quality control, customer experience and safety which are very important for an organization from today’s business perspective.  It shall be noted that Professor Kano just re-emphasized the importance of quality control and quality tools for fixing the current problem, which should be the immediate focus.  Ikea is very customer focused and clear with respect its vision – high and consistent customer experience.   Volvo’s vision is more like achieving six sigma level safety standards, by year 2020, in all automobiles it sells. 

Out of curiosity, I searched Apple’s website to understand their organization vision and focus.  Unfortunately, I could not find any reference to what I was looking for.  Interestingly, I stumbled on this article that kind of conveyed Apple’s focus from none other than Tim Cook, who took over as Apple’s leader from the legendary Steve Jobs.   Here is a quick excerpt from the article and Tim’s words were:

We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing. We are constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple not the complex.” 

We can clearly comprehend that Apple’s focus is to make great products with continuous focus on innovation and their firm belief in simplicity.   Quite amazing and powerful focus, isn’t it?  Can we explain about delivering customer experience in a better way?  That is what Apple is!

Here is another interesting part to note from the same article, Tim said:

We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot. And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change.

Apple’s focus on its internal customers – their employees is commendable.  They strongly believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination which allows them to innovate which is a key differentiator from its peers.   And the greatness comes from the “self-honesty” fact that when things go wrong, they have the courage to admit that and adopt change.   

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