I have worked within ASQ, and the quality improvement community, for over 30 years. I spent 10 of those years on the Board of Quality New Jersey, and have served for many years on the Board of the Government Division of ASQ.
What does it take to change? What is each of us able to do each day?
1- a mission and vision aligned with the times. Or, as Marshall Goldsmith puts it, “what got you here, won’t get you there.”
2- Deep listening and reflection on the changes around you.
3- Deep listening to the voice of your customers. Deming taught us that the customer doesn’t always know what they want, but we ignore them at our peril.
4- breaking the entrenched patterns of power, control, and information flow. Was it Jim Collins who advised “let the periphery inform the core?” We get stuck in the old ways even if they will not get us to tomorrow. As Meg Wheatley teaches, “we must be willing to be perturbed by ideas that do not agree with our own.”
5- align your people around the new vision.
6- build relationships of trust and engagement throughout. Trust is what makes the engine run. Seek powerful ideas that attract and motivate. Deming taught us to drive out fear for a reason. Control and responsibility become distributed among all for the organization.
7- build smart social networks. As Valdis Krebs and June Holley teach, “close the triangles.” Inter-connect everyone to each other, and to the info they need right now.
8- Build agility and resilience. All the other skills enable this.
Have fun, and as the old joke said about getting to Carnegie Hall: “practice, practice, practice.”