Wednesday, December 1, 2010

7 Driving Forces that will Affect Quality in the Future

I recently came across a presentation on the ASQ website discussing the future of quality.  ASQ's Executive Director and Chief Strategic Officer, Paul Borawski, breaks down ASQ's 2008 Future of Quality Study, and the seven key forces that will affect quality in years to come.  I enjoyed watching this presentation and agreed with Borawski's seven key forces that are affecting quality in the United States.  I think it is very important for people, especially members of ASQ, to recognize and plan for the future.  With the advice from Paul Borawski, we can plan and better prepare for changes to come in the quality field.

First and foremost, the most prevalent concept driving quality is the idea of globalization.  In order to survive in today's economy companies must integrate their communication, business, and resources.  The regional and national boundaries are becoming nonexistent.  Globalization is becoming standard in doing business. 

The second key force Borawski mentions is social responsibility.  With the 'green' movement that is occurring in today's society, it is important that companies do their part as well.  People are paying more attention to carbon footprints, environmental issues and how socially responsible companies are acting.  With so much attention on social responsibility, companies that ignore and neglect the environment will pay the price. 

The third key force discusses the new dimensions for quality.  This section deals with adaptability.  People must be willing to change with the times, continue education through training, webinars, conferences, master degrees and so on.  It's important to keep yourself on the cutting edge and in the loop of new technology.  You cannot be a sitting duck in order to succeed.

Next is the aging population.  In business, it is important to understand your market needs and your customer base.  In today's society, it is important to recognize that the baby boomers generation is growing older and have different needs.  This aging population is going to affect health care and social systems. With the aging population, we must address and adapt to new customer needs

The fifth driving force is health care.  With the amount money invested and the ever present need for healthcare, it is important to address the quality of this field.  Since this field is one that will be around for many years to come, it is worth spending the time, research and commitment to eliminating waste and old technology in this field.  This force overlaps with the idea of globalization in the sense that healthcare systems can learn and integrate recourses with various health care systems.

The sixth driving force is environmental concern.  This to me ties directly to social responsibility.  It seems redundant to break these into two separate driving forces. 

The seventh and final driving force is 21st Century Technology. This seems very similar to that mentioned in the new dimensions for quality section.  Both cover the idea of keeping up with times and that quality is a living, breathing field. 

Overall, I thought this was a very useful and important lecture to listen to.  I appreciate the lecture and the advice given through the presentation of Paul Borawski.   

Written by: Michelle Whelan

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