ASQ’s CEO, Bill Troy, asked in his October post how to encourage people to join or volunteer in professional associations, of course particularly ASQ. The way I see it, some of the conditions that originated ASQC in 1946 are now present but in a global scale.
Think of the quality professionals just after World War II who created this wonderful association of experts that shared, sustained and expanded all those quality techniques used during wartime. The original ASQC had an enduring impact in the success of the postwar American industry. And that impact continues today in lots of small, medium and big companies not only in the US but also all over the world.
Believe it or not, humanity is living its best era ever. Average life expectancy in the World today is 70 years, up from 47 years in 1950. Literacy rate is 84% worldwide. The percentage of low-income countries went down from 63% in 1981 to 44% in 2010. An estimated 2.5 billion people use the Internet everyday. Today millions of professionals around the world use quality tools and methods. A true global ASQ requires true global participation; it has to become the “United Nations”, or the FIFA, of quality, it has to be willing to teach but also to learn, and to learn a lot. In a way, before ASQ becomes the “global voice of quality” it has to go through a period of being the “global ear of quality”.
I agree with fellow blogger Anshuman Tiwari in his blog “Making ASQ Truly Global”, a good group of international members join for the certification exam discounts and then leave after a year. What he sees true for India also applies to Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico and lots of other “emerging countries”. But I bet it is totally different for countries like Germany, Italy, or Norway. Take into consideration that most countries, big or small, already have their own local quality associations, just knocking the door asking to join ASQ won’t be that easy. Maybe we need to rethink the American recipe and come with a new global way to attract members.
The figure of Country Counselor, a sort of volunteering ambassador, should have more contact with ASQ officials and managers. The yearly counselors meeting at World Congress should be attended by ASQ’s CEO and Chair, and not only by the counselors themselves.
More collaboration, volunteering and networking at the country level, and new understanding by ASQ itself will be needed to recruiting and keeping new members worldwide.