Tag Archives: authenticity

What if Your Job Was Focused on Play?

james-siegal

James Siegal (picture from his Twitter profile, @jsiegal at http://twitter.com/jsiegal)

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to talk to James Siegal, the President of KaBOOM! – a non-profit whose mission is lighthearted, but certainly not frivolous: to bring balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids! James is another new Business Innovation Factory (BIF) storyteller for 2015… and I wanted to find out how I could learn from his experiences to bring a sense of play into the work environment. (For me, that’s at a university, interacting with students on a daily basis.)

Over the past 20 years, KaBOOM! has built thousands of playgrounds, focusing on children growing up in poverty. By enlisting the help of over a million volunteers, James and his organization have mobilized communities using a model that starts with kids designing their dream playgrounds. It’s a form of crowdsourced placemaking.

Now, KaBOOM! is thinking about a vision that’s a little broader: driving social change at the city level. Doing this, they’ve found, requires answering one key question: How can you integrate play into the daily routine for kids and families? If play is a destination, there are “hassle factors” that must be overcome: safety, travel time, good lighting, and restroom facilities, for starters. So, in addition to building playgrounds, KaBOOM! is challenging cities to think about integrating play everywhere — on the sidewalk, at the bus stop, and beyond.

How can this same logic apply to organizations integrating play into their cultures? Although KaBOOM! focuses on kids, he had some more generalizable advice:

  • The desire for play has to be authentic, not forced. “We truly value kids, and we truly value families. Our policies and our culture strive to reflect that.” What does your organization value at its core? Seek to amplify the enjoyment of that.
  • We take our work really seriously,” he said. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously. You have to leave your ego at the door.” Can your organization engage in more playful collaboration?
  • We drive creativity out of kids as they grow older, he noted. “Kids expect to play everywhere,” and so even ordinary elements like sidewalks can turn into experiences. (This reminded me of how people decorate the Porta-Potties at Burning Man with lights and music… although I wouldn’t necessarily do the same thing to the restrooms at my university, it did make me think about how we might make ordinary places or situations more fun for our students.)

KaBOOM! is such a unique organization that I had to ask James: what’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever observed in your role as President? He says it’s something that hasn’t just happened once… but happens every time KaBOOM! organizes a new playground build. When people from diverse backgrounds come together with a strong shared mission, vision, and purpose, you foster intense community engagement that yields powerful, tangible results — and this is something that so many organizations strive to achieve.

If you haven’t made plans already to hear James and the other storytellers at BIF, there may be a few tickets left — but this event always sells out! Check the BIF registration page and share a memorable experience with the BIF community this year: http://www.businessinnovationfactory.com/summit/register

Change vs. Transformation: What’s the Difference?

Image Credit: Doug Buckley of http://hyperactive.to

Transformation involves changing your frame of reference. Image Credit: Doug Buckley of http://hyperactive.to

Last week, on the Lean Six Sigma Worldwide discussion group, Gaurav Navula (CEO of Perky Pat India) asked us to reflect on the difference between change and transformation. Change management was a major thrust in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, but you don’t hear as much about it anymore. Today, the tools of change management (making the business case, aligning strategy with tactics, engaging stakeholders, instituting goal-directed training and education programs, etc.) have faded into the everyday landscape of management. Leaders seem to be focused more on “surviving and thriving” in the midst of rapid and disruptive innovation, which enhances the importance of transformation.

But what’s the difference? Just a couple months ago, Ron Ashkenas (on the Harvard Business Review blog) asserted that we don’t know the difference: “We really do know how to execute discrete changes. What we know much less about is how to engineer a transformation.”

But I think we do know how to engineer a transformation, and we can use this recipe. I’ll explain more towards the end of this post, but it acknowledges the relationship between larger-scale changes and transformation: that change is required for transformation, and all transformation involves change, but not all change is transformational. This is based on the idea that all observable changes come with “shifts in state” – from the quality management perspective, you can think of these as observed changes in system performance (cost savings, more efficient or effective use of time, increasing throughput, enhancing return on investment).

transformation

What this says is: transformation is what you get when you adjust the frame of reference that you observe the world with, and then add to that new perspective the product of all the shifts in state that have occurred as a result of incremental changes. I say “when you adjust the reference frame,” but that’s somewhat misleading. Usually there is some sort of transformational experience… an “a-ha” moment or event… where the scales fall from your eyes and you see the world in a completely different way. The shift in reference frame always involves relationships: either your relationship to other people or other groups, or your relationship to yourself and how you see yourself, or maybe both. 

“My sense is that there’s an underlying semantic problem, stemming from confusion between what constitutes “change” versus “transformation.” Many managers don’t realize that the two are not the same. And while we’ve actually come a long way in learning how to manage change, we continue to struggle with transformation.” — Ron Ashkenas, HBR blog

Here are some of the qualitative descriptions that have been offered to further articulate the differences between change and transformation. Notice that they do not conflict with the expression for transformation above.

Change:

  • Finite initiatives which may or may not be cross-cutting (HBR)
  • Desire to improve the past directs what we do (Mohanty)
  • Makes the system better (Mohanty)
  • Any time an organization asks its people or systems to stop, start, or execute in a new way a process, behavior or location of performanc (Holtz)
  • Making setups in different format within the given system to achieve improvements in performance (Bob Matthew)
  • Incremental (Anand)

Transformation:

  • A portfolio of open-ended initiatives which are necessarily cross-cutting (HBR)
  • The future directs your actions and only the limits of imagination and courage constrain possibilities (Mohanty)
  • Makes a better system (Mohanty)
  • The base of transformational is the word “formation” – the stuff things are made of or the structure – that needs to change for the change to be transformational. (du Plessis)
  • Encompasses bigger, more radical shifts (Holtz)
  • Makes a total change of system, procedure and a total mindset to get a better transparency and communication within the process owners including the customers. (Bob Matthew)
  • Should be informed by strategy (Kshirsagar)
  • Transformation is not a preference; it’s a necessity as a result of resistance to change. (Aydin)
  • Major; result of many changes (Anand)

Think about the last time you experienced a transformative change, perhaps even in your personal life. For example, think of a time when you were able to truly and completely forgive someone for some way they had wronged you. There were certainly a collection of changes in state that occurred — prior to, during, and after the forgiveness experience. But as a result, didn’t you also come to see the world in a completely different way? Your frame of reference with respect to that person… and probably, other people you have relationships with… also shifted.

Who Has Inspired You About Quality?

eisensteinIn his January post, ASQ CEO Bill Troy asks, “Have you met someone whose teachings on quality influenced you or inspired you? What were these lessons?” Although he acknowledges the “quality gurus” he encouraged us to think about people from beyond the domain of the quality profession. When I think about quality, I always start with my favorite definition to provide an anchor. According to this definition, quality is:

“The totality of characteristics of an entity that bear upon its ability to satisfy stated and implied needs.” — ISO 8402 (deprecated)

Even though they do not specifically teach about quality, I’d like to share two of my sources of inspiration: philosopher and activist Charles Eisenstein, and psychologist Barbara Fredrickson.

In Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible, Charles Eisenstein encourages us to look beyond the subtle assumptions and limitations imposed upon us by being embedded in a market economy. What is quality in the absence of a commercial environment to exchange products and services?? How can we more effectively relate to ourselves and to one another, so that we can better satisfy our stated and implied needs? Eisenstein’s work inspires me because it encourages me to reflect on the unspoken assumptions of the quality profession, and how those assumptions might be holding us back from evolving our skill sets to meet the changing needs of society. (Sacred Economics is also available in print from Amazon.)

In Positivity, Barbara Fredrickson provides a simple, data-driven path (the “positivity ratio”) for improving our psychological health; in Love 2.0, she helps uncover ways for us to create substantive, authentic connections with one another. Her work can help us cultivate greater quality consciousness – because we are best able to satisfy others’ stated and implied needs when 1) we understand them, and 2) we are mentally and emotionally equipped to help deliver them! Although aspects of the positivity ratio have been criticized by researchers studying dynamical systems, I still find the concept (and measurement tool) very useful for raising the awareness of individuals and teams.

Postscript: Bill’s post made me think about another related question: “Who ARE the quality gurus?” I mean, everyone in the quality profession can call on Deming, Juran, or Crosby, but I’d toss luminaries like Csikszentmihalyi and Prahalad (plus others) in the mix as well. I searched online and found a nice “List of Gurus” that someone put together that includes my extra picks!

But!! There’s a problem with it.

WHERE ARE THE WOMEN? The one woman in this list is someone I’ve never heard of, which is odd, since I’ve read papers by (or about!) all of the other people referenced in the list. Which brings me back to my original point: WHERE ARE THE WOMEN QUALITY GURUS? It’s time to start celebrating their emerging legacy. If you are a woman who has made significant contributions to our understanding and/or practice of quality and improvement, PLEASE CONTACT ME. I’d like to write an article soon.

Deming’s 14 Points Revisited. Twice.

Image Credit: Doug Buckley of http://hyperactive.to

Image Credit: Doug Buckley of http://hyperactive.to

After responding to the December 2014 discussion question to the Influential Voices from ASQ CEO Bill Troy, I’m thinking more about the question “Is Quality Ambitious Enough?” that he posed. In particular, I’m thinking about an article that was published in the December 2014 issue of Quality Progress.

The subtitle for the article, called “Whole New World,” is “Seasoned quality professionals rethink Deming’s 14 points for a new generation.” Certainly, rethinking tenets of a quality philosophy that has shaped our profession for the greater part of a century would be ambitious. However, I find that the “rethinking” done by these authors falls into the same trap that Brooks Carder did when he questioned whether the ASQ mission statement is ambitious enough: it assumes a capitalist society composed of products, services, employees, jobs, and customers. I’ll step through each of Conklin et al.’s 14 revised points, and share what I think the new points for management REALLY should be.

But first, a caveat: with the utmost respect for the experiences and credibility of the authors of this article, I was disappointed to see that all of the contributors were older white men (that is, clearly in their late 40’s or beyond… with varying shades of gray hair). With a sample size of 3 contributors, it’s easy to lack diversity, so I won’t hold it against them. But when embarking on a task as significant as reimagining Deming’s 14 points – we need the representation of women, minorities, and for goodness sake – the young people who are the gurus of the modern startup. They know things that the old “seasoned” guys won’t even be able to see. We need to know what those insights are too.

We are missing the opportunity to envision the practice of quality outside the bounds of the consumer mentality. 

So, point by point, here are my thoughts about Conklin et al.’s reimagining of Deming’s 14 points in the December 2014 Quality Progress. (Recognizing, of course, that attempting to do this on my own is limited from the start : )

Original Point 1: Create constancy of purpose for improving products and services.

Conklin Point 1: Increase value through products and services that delight customers.

Radziwill Point 1: Create constancy of purpose for identifying and delivering value. (I think Deming had it half right, but was too focused on the commercial aspects of driving quality. Conklin, on the other hand, focuses on increasing value — which is still important, but not as significant without constancy of purpose, which can get you through tough times.)

Original Point 2: Adopt the new philosophy.

Conklin Point 2: Connect customer requirements to key process variables.

Radziwill Point 2: I’ve never really understood Deming’s 2nd point, probably because I didn’t live in the 1940’s and can’t possibly emotionally intuit what the “old philosophy” was. But I think this point has something very important to say about innovation that Conklin’s revision doesn’t address: We must always be ready to adopt new ideologies and approaches that support our ability to thrive and sustain ourselves, both as individuals and organizations. 

Original Point 3: Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality.

Conklin Point 3: Prevent, where possible; inspect where necessary; implement process management. 

Radziwill Point 3: I like Conklin’s point here, mainly because I think en masse, industry is not as dependent on inspection as it once was. Most efforts are much more naturally tuned to prevention and process management, backed by decades of evidence that document the benefits of such efforts.

Original Point 4: End the practice of awarding business based on price alone; instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier.

Conklin Point 4: Pick the vital few suppliers based on total cost and fit with the organization.

Radziwill Point 4: Cultivate relationships with other organizations so that you can authentically resolve issues and pursue opportunities that would provide mutual benefit.

Original Point 5: Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production, and service.

Conklin Point 5: Improve processes now; find those that will need it later; sustain gains over time.

Radziwill Point 5: I don’t see how you can improve upon Deming’s original point here — all it says is GROW. Grow, people. Grow in your understanding of what you need to produce, and how you can produce it, and how you can produce it effectively, and how you can improve the quality of life in doing so.

Original Point 6: Institute training on the job.

Conklin Point 6: Build training into jobs so employees can improve their performance.

Radziwill Point 6: Because you learn more deeply when you teach something, everyone should have the opportunity to share what they know, and learn from others. A productive organization is a vibrant learning community.

Original Point 7: Adopt and institute leadership.

Conklin Point 7: Know employees, listen to them, and give them what they need to excel.

Radziwill Point 7: Let leaders emerge. As a community, support the emergent leaders that champion collective values and goals.

Original Point 8: Drive out fear.

Conklin Point 8: Set clear expectations for reasonable standards, and hold all accountable.

Radziwill Point 8: (Come ON Conklin!! Accountability, if not implemented well, can have the unexpected consequence of creating even more fear. This point is about as pure and generalizable Deming as you can get. And we haven’t been able to do this systemically yet – if it’s happened in our organizations it is far from happening in our institutions and systems of governance – so we need to keep trying to do it.) Drive out fear.

Original Point 9: Break down barriers between staff areas.

Conklin Point 9: Build cooperation from the top down by reducing barriers between departments.

Radziwill Point 9: Build relationships with one another – inside the organization and between organizational boundaries – to grow more authentic partnerships from which quick and effective resolutions to issues might be possible.

Original Point 10: Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the workforce.

Conklin Point 10: Connect targets and metrics to customer needs; train employees to understand them.

Radziwill Point 10: I actually like Conklin’s 10th point. I’d take out the word “customer” and just leave the needs. I’d train everyone involved – regardless of who they’re getting paid by – if they want more insight into how to solve the problem (sense the opportunity for social innovation here?)

Original Point 11: Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management.

Conklin Point 11: Avoid arbitrary goals; prefer ones in which metrics encourage “right the first time”.

Radziwill Point 11: Avoid arbitrary goals in favors of those that will have meaningful impact on individuals and groups of people.

Original Point 12: Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship and eliminate the annual rating or merit system.

Conklin Point 12: Measure employees against their personal best; use metrics they can track.

Radziwill Point 12: Help people contribute according to their greatest skills and abilities. Collectively celebrate each others’ successes, and constructively assist each other in the improvement effort.

Original Point 13: Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone.

Conklin Point 13: Help leaders model the right behaviors, and support the firm’s goals for training.

Radziwill Point 13. I don’t like how Conklin makes education and self-improvement something that needs to be judged against a standard (“right” might be different for everyone) nor do I like how self-improvement must be aligned with the firm (supporting the “firm’s” goals). What about the individual’s goals? Helping them achieve their goals for self-improvement will ultimately benefit society. So let’s help make that happen, and keep Deming’s original point.

Original Point 14: Put everybody in the company to work accomplishing the transformation.

Conklin Point 14: Align employees with jobs, suppliers and the firm and the firm with the future.

Radziwill Point 14: Everyone should provide opportunities for others to participate and contribute according to their current skills and talents, and those they would like to develop. We all help each other transform to meet new challenges and opportunities.

Also see “Are Deming’s 14 Points Still Valid?” — a post from November 2012.

Extreme Innovation: Practical Lessons from Burning Man

Biking at Burning Man 2014 )'(

Biking at Burning Man 2014 )'(

One of my goals as a scholar is: I want to understand what makes the Burning Man environment such a petri dish for cultivating and catalyzing true innovation. “Innovation” has become such an overused and diluted term that I get really excited when I see and feel it happening all around me — independent of the traditional capitalist motivations.

We’ll be analyzing survey data that we collected on and off the playa for the next few months; after that, I should be able to give you a data-driven sense of what really makes Burning Man a culture of innovation. But in the meantime, I’ll recap the message that I presented in Toronto at the ASQ Innovation Conference in September, in a talk called “Extreme Innovation: Practical Lessons from Burning Man”, which is based mostly on connecting anecdotal evidence from observation and initial interviews with the academic literature. (We’ll improve upon that later.)

Our premise is based on an observation from the Harvard Business Review blog earlier this year: that the fundamental character of management is, once again, changing. For the bulk of the 20th century, the organization was treated as a machine to be oiled and optimized. In the 1980’s, with the introduction of books like Senge’s Fifth Discipline, the organization was recharacterized as a collection of knowledge flows to be captured and optimized. Today, however, some claim that we are moving into an era of empathy, where the organization should be a vehicle to create complete and meaningful experiences

Given that we’re about to embark upon a collective strategy focused on creating these complete and meaningful experiences, here are some practical lessons about innovation from Burning Man. Note that there are tens — if not hundreds — of lessons about innovation you could learn from participating in Burning Man. We can’t possibly capture them all. But listed below are some of the top insights we’ve gleaned from observing the personalities and dispositions of the world-class innovators we’ve camped around.

#1 Innovation Requires Renewal. One of the themes we noticed at the ASQ Innovation Conference was that several of the talks touched on creative destruction — that it’s important to purposefully break down the old structures and processes to bring in the new. (People were not talking about it just in a general sense, not in the Schumpeterian sense, where the destruction happens as a result of the creation and uptake of new innovations.) However, we’re not really good at sloughing off old ways of doing things — and in fact, many of us (especially the “experts”) seem to be particularly skilled at rejecting the most creative ideas. When change management was introduced in the late 1980’s, we looked for top-down interventions to help people release their resistance to large-scale organizational changes, even when those improvements were clearly the most logical and beneficial. At Burning Man, we are accustomed to building things (or seeing things built) that are quickly experienced, deconstructed, taken down, or burned. Subconsciously, it attunes us to the process of creative destruction and renewal in a way that we expect it from the systems and processes around us.

#2 Everyone Needs a Temporary Liminal Space. Have you ever felt like you’re “anxiously floating in the inbetween”? At the interface of an old way of thinking or being, and a new and potentially uncomfortable way (that might not even be completely clear to you)? Often, these liminal times come during major life transitions (like moving, or divorce, or heading off to college). You either have a new identity thrust upon you, or the old structures that scaffolded your identity are no longer there for you. At Burning Man, you’re encouraged to create a new (and sometimes temporary) identity. You can, for a short time, choose to release yourself from the persona you’ve created your whole life — not limited by the image others have of you, or by the image you’re cultivated of yourself. It’s this release into the state of liminality that frees you from the boundaries that have kept you “in the box”.

#3 Ritual and Structure Provide a Container. Even in a petri dish of unlimited possibility, everyone knows (sort of) what to expect: there are morning rituals, daily yoga classes, other classes that support lifelong learning, and dance and music events. There’s a What-Where-When guide published that showcases all of the gifts your community members are bringing to share with one another. You know you can expect the Man to burn on Saturday night (a wild and invigorating evening) and then the Temple will burn on Sunday night (a somber and cathartic experience). Within the framework of these expected outcomes, serendipity and synchronicity becomes possible. That’s why quality systems are so useful: they provide us with a container of ritual from which to identify and operationalize continuous improvement. Even Fast Company lauds approaches like Google’s “20% discretionary time” — that gives structure to unstructured pursuits. 

#4 Intimacy Helps Drive Out Fear. In addition to having a great idea, you must have the courage to realize it. One of the things I love most about the Burning Man environment is that people want to get to know you better (as a complex, multi-dimensional person!), and as a result, they tend to support your ideas rather than challenge them to their deaths. In fact, challenges are naturally presented as well-intentioned, well-informed, well-meaning insights to help you bring your ideas to fruition. Knowing you’re surrounded by thousands of your biggest fans and supporters helps. Because you know what? You’re just as likely to succeed with that crazy idea as your entrepreneur friend was with their multi-million dollar company, especially with support. At Burning Man, you typically get the sense that your tribesmen are on your side, and they WANT you to succeed.

#5 Do it Now. One of the 10 Principles of the Burning Man culture is immediacy, which encourages people to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. I got to experience this first hand. For months, I was so excited looking forward to sacrificing myself to the Paha’oha’o, the Burning Man volcano — a 3-story alpine slide. On Thursday morning, I announced to all my campmates that it was Volcano Day… I was going!! There was only one problem: they had burned the volcano the night before. There was no more volcano to experience. What’s the lesson here? If you have a great idea to share with the world… or a great experience that you want to participate in… DO IT NOW. There’s no sense waiting for a better time, because you never know when the environment around you just won’t support it any more.

Innovation can be managed, but transformation (the ability to see and feel new ways of doing and being) must be catalyzed.

To increase innovation, create an environment that will crack open your limiting observations and limiting beliefs. One that will support thrivability. And then just wait to see what appears.

P.S. Thanks to Katherine Norenius, a quality professional from Toronto, for encouraging me to write this up 🙂

Quality as a Cultural Vision: My Week in Japan

japan-treesIn his July post, ASQ CEO Bill Troy reflects on the immense value of an ultra-clear organizational vision. After a trip to Sweden, where he attended a quality conference organized by the European Organization for Quality (EOQ), he was struck by IKEA’s starkly elegant focus on its customers’ needs, and Volvo’s BHAGgy(*) goal that no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by 2020.

This past June, I went to Japan for the first time. It wasn’t a work trip, so I didn’t visit any companies or do any plant tours. I didn’t intend to learn anything about quality, despite the obvious opportunities. And quite frankly, I wasn’t really sure I would enjoy Japan, or feel comfortable in that country, despite my profession’s obvious ties to that country’s insights and contributions to knowledge!

Why? Well, two reasons. The first is that I have some deep-seated emotional issues associated with Japan. It’s kind of like that time I was 16 and decided to experiment with too much vodka and Great Bluedini Kool-Aid. It was not a good idea. And I’ve never been able to eat or drink anything blue (or even drink Kool-Aid) since — that’s over 20 years completely inoculated to Kool-Aid, all because of a negative emotional association. I kind of had the same thing with Japan, prior to this summer.

My second reason for resisting Japan is more legitimate. I’ve worked with Japanese colleagues in the past, and it’s always been subtly disturbing. I always got the distinct sense of a lack of authenticity, and authenticity has always been a really important value of mine. I found that my Japanese colleagues could be very nice to my face, but then later, I’d realize that they completely disagreed with me (or in fact, disliked me completely). I didn’t like the (real or perceived) dichotomy. It made me nervous. If I can’t know you authentically, how can I work with you?

After spending a week in Japan, I’m not so bothered by this “lack of authenticity”. Even acknowledging this shift in my feelings is very surprising to me.

Being in Japan is an amazing, refreshing experience. Each person clearly has a sense of duty. Everyone I encountered was very respectful, genuinely interested in not bothering other people, and genuinely interested in providing a high level of service quality. There was no question about it: if you were in a service role, you were going to provide high quality. If you were responsible for providing products: they were going to be of high quality, regardless of how much you had paid for the privilege.

It would be shameful if you did not provide high quality.

This just seems to be part of their culture. I’m not advocating the threat of shame, or the threat of being ostracized by your community if you don’t meet their expectations — but there’s something very nice about having a socially-enforced baseline of high expectations. This  cultural vision, socialized into everyone since childhood, ensures that the entire country routinely meets high standards for quality just because how could it be any other way?

In fact, the cultural vision related to quality in Japan is so clear, I’m sure no one can even see it.

 

(*)BHAG = “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” or alternatively, a really crazy-out-there stretch goal, conceptualized and popularized by Collins and Porras (1994).

Getting Deep With Value Creation

Image Credit: Doug Buckley of http://hyperactive.to

Image Credit: Doug Buckley of http://hyperactive.to

In his November post, ASQ CEO Paul Borawski asks “What new fields or disciplines could most reap the benefits of quality tools and techniques?”

He notes that although the tradition of quality assurance, control, and improvement emerged from manufacturing, the techniques are now widely acknowledged and applied in many fields such as healthcare, education, and service. So what’s next?

One of the things I like to do when I’m trying to be a futurist is to go back to first principles. Explore the basis for why we do what we do… what makes us tick… why we like improving quality and making processes more effective, more efficient. And in doing so, while reflecting on Paul’s question, I think what’s next is…

Getting Deep with Value Creation.

As quality professionals we spend most of our time and energy figuring out how to create value. Either we’re improving the systems we work with to tweak out additional value, or we’re working with customers and stakeholders to figure out how to provide them with more value, or we’re focusing on innovation – figuring out how to create value for the future — reliably, consistently, and according to new and unexpected business models.

To me, this starts with me. How can I improve myself so that I’m a kickass vessel for the delivery of value? How can I use quality principles and quality tools to find – and align myself – with what I’m supposed to be doing at any given time? How can I become most productive in terms of the deep, meaningful value I add to those around me?

I know that others feel the same way. Marc Kelemen, a member of the ASQ Board of Directors, is leading a charge to develop a Body of Knowledge for Social Responsibility. He recognizes that the personal element is crucial if we’re trying to become socially responsible as teams, and organizations, and communities. So we’ll be working on this over the next few months… figuring out how to get deep with the notion of value creation, and how we can do it within ourselves so that we are better positioned to help others do it too.

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