The moment I started to write this blog I got a call from my wife and my two daughters, they were about to have coffee in a near shopping mall and invited me in. My son Antonio was somewhere else so it was a conversation between the girls in the family and myself (tough crowd: Carmen, my wife, just finished her college degree in Mathematics, Sofia is in second year of Actuarial Sciences and Math, and Carmencita (Little Carmen) is starting her second year of Statistics). I told them I was about to respond to Bill Troy’s “Why Should Quality ¨Go Global¨?” February blog. Carmencita looked at me and questioned the tittle – “isn´t that like asking if the ocean should go global? Quality is universal isn´t it?”-. I agreed with her and explained to everyone that Mr. Troy’s blog was really about ASQ, not quality, going global. They ended up giving me most of the ideas I needed to write my answer. Let me start with a little theory and then we will go back to ASQ.
Carmencita, Carmen, myself and Sofía discussing ASQ Global
Globalization is defined as: “the ongoing process of changing to an integrated world from an isolated one”. It can be summarized as the long-term change towards greater international cooperation in economics, politics, ideas, cultural values, and the exchange of knowledge. The Internet and fast air travel are the main tools of this phenomenon.
The concept of one integrated and global world is opposed to the idea of nationalism, or more broadly exceptionalism, which is the perception that a country, institution, religion, ethnic group is exceptional or better in some way. This mental model has been literally programmed in our minds for thousands of years. In the last centuries we have experienced international and multinational institutions and organizations, but hardly any of them could be called truly global.
ASQ’s decision the become ASQ Global is a brave one. Are we, as a quality community, doing enough to accomplish this mission? Mr. Troy asked. The answer seems to be no, it looks like this is just the beginning. What did ASQ do right for its original US members? It wasn’t the creation of the QBoK (Quality Body of Knowledge) it was the way such Body of Knowledge was nurtured, shared, enhanced and ultimately used by its members, so much that we international members asked to be part of this wonderful society, a community that accepted someone like me, from Costa Rica, not from Boston or Atlanta, as an equal, all the way to fellow member. Together we must find ways to repeat my journey for others, thousands of times.
The QBoK document suggests a “Quality Journey” in four steps:
- Pursuit of Personal Excellence
- Pursuit of Operational Excellence
- Pursuit of Organizational Excellence
- Pursuit of the Quality Ideal
We must concentrate in step one. Again, it is not the content of the QBoK what made a difference in the early years of ASQ, most of it was already universal (Japanese techniques, British industrial statistics, French probability, American applications of statistics such as SPC, among many other things), it was the individuals and their capacity to work together what made the original American Society for Quality Control, and later the American Society for Quality what we want ASQ Global to be. Through Personal Excellence members in Germany, India, China, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, United Arab Emirates, Macedonia and everywhere else in the world will collaborate and share experiences that will make our community grow larger and larger for a better World for all.