ASQ ITEA Judge!!!

My application to be a judge for the 2016-2017 ASQ International Team Excellence Award (ITEA) Preliminary round was accepted!!! I completed all Pre-Work deliverables on Monday.

Wow!!!

The Process involves: 1- Pre-Work (individual on own); 2- On-Site Training (2 days with trainers, other judges).

Pre-work involved reading and doing exercises on the ITEA Process and Criteria. The process reminds me of accreditation processes that I have participated in – learn then apply! Super intimidating to begin with – a lot of material to become familiar with and then the reminder that teams are depending on my contribution and participation.

Now that I have completed the Pre-Work, the process and expectations are clearer. This is a HUGE responsibility I have signed up to undertake (the hugeness of the undertaking is making it easier for me to step up and deliver). I am so looking forward to the On-Site training: November 3 & 4, 2016 in Raleigh, NC.

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ASQ WCQI16 – Arrived in Milwaukee, WI…!

Annual pilgrimage to the ASQ WCQI 2016. Always an opportunity for inspiration, opportunity to reset the Quality-button, meet old and new friends.

Looking forward to a great conference – I will be presenting this year (looking forward to advocating for fellow Quality Practitioners to practice self care in order to better serve our teams and organizations).

Working Our Way Out of a Job…!

During a team meeting some years ago, a teammate made this statement “We are working our way out of a job!”. I was at the beginning of my Quality journey so this statement was especially jarring! The teammate had 30 years of Six Sigma experience to back up this claim. My reaction of course was horror – how can this be, Quality is inherent in everything, how can the Quality professional be disposable (LOL – I can now laugh at my reaction).

Fast forward to now… Reflecting on that jarringly significant moment this is how the statement has evolved for me:

  • In my freshman Quality frame of mind, this statement meant making myself indispensable to my clients – showing how valuable I can be to their organizations.
  • In my junior-senior Quality phase, statement meant that it is okay to move on to other opportunities to collaborate.

Hopefully I have:

  • Been successful in sharing, learning, collaborating, participating with my clients in the various initiatives geared towards excellence and achieving organization goals & objectives.
  • Brought value by relieving pain-points, resolving conflicts, streamlining processes, improving the bottom line, embedded the practice of using data-based decision making, improved the customer experience.

Overall, my contributions might evolve to a more strategic advisory resource not so much in the thick of it because like raising nurturing caring of a wee-one, our teams have become self-facilitating. Brings to mind a line from the Nanny McPhee movie, “When you don’t want me you need me, when you want me you don’t need me!”. Project leading & ownership has been transferred back to the organization. Evolution could even involve relocating elsewhere so that the journey of ‘Teach a man to fish’ vs. ‘Give a man a Fish’ can begin anew :).

 

Time to Let Go!

The Quality Practitioner spends a lot of time chasing, advocating, championing, guiding, shepherding, seeking buy-in for Quality methods, support, resolution of conflicts, justifiable use of limited & dwindling resources, building a Quality-Team, et al..

The above takes place over a period of time (often times years) and naturally this becomes the norm. The Quality Practitioner out of necessity becomes the sole custodial of the Quality space within the organization.

Then something fantastic happens and if one is not aware can be a devastating set back to the whole endeavor.

The team start to take ownership. This starts manifesting as queries about “why we are doing it this way”, “we should find another way”, et al. Team members begin to make connections (daily work, organization strategy, improvement), take initiative, engage stakeholders, prep & execute deliverables, present status updates, etc.

Care should be taken not to categorize these fledgling steps to process ownership as resistance (which would lead to the Quality Practitioner reacting by using resistance-overcoming facilitation methods which would kill fledgling ownerships dead! This would be disastrous to establishing meaningful organizational relationships.

Note to self: Be on the lookout for the above moments – shifts from resistance to ownership! They can be so subtle that it can be easily overlooked, missed or worse dismissed! Sit back and luxuriate in the moment – rewarding moment that makes up for the long periods of resistance :).