This is a work related post because, quite simply, my life has circled around work more so than anything else the last few weeks. But tonight I get to do something really cool.
I am going to be presenting at the American Society of Quality (ASQ) – Alaska Section monthly meeting. I am giving a presentation to this group on implementation of tools and processes where challenges exist in developing a quality culture or utilization of said tools.
No, seriously … this is cool … more than just to me.
I am a Quality Engineer, and for the job that I do, ASQ is the recognized body that we all look up to. I was in ASQ when I was working in Aerospace, I am in ASQ now. I know people in ASQ from the medical field, electronics, castings, forgings, air conditioning, and even entertainment. ASQ also defines certifications that are equivalent to other professional groups – consistent with Professional Engineers, Lawyers, or Doctors might. For instance, I am a Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) through ASQ which gives me the right to give my name out as Mitch Nelson, CQA.
So, the talk tonight is specifically for the Alaskan Regional body of ASQ, but it is still ASQ. In fact, how I became a presenter tonight was an interesting story. There was a quality conference planned for this winter, and they made a call for presentations to be made. I took a chance, wrote up a synopses, and entered. Not only did they think they wanted me for the conference, they were so excited they wanted me to present as the first speaker of the year in their meetings.
To be fair, I did give a nice spin on this presentation to them. See, Quality is the red-headed step child of any company. We support the company thought optimization, continual improvement, and waste reduction — but chances are people see us as preventing production when they see us at all. It doesn’t help that terms like “six sigma” become an automatic turn-off to many operators we work with. It’s like the old saying goes: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.
My presentation embraces that step-child personality. We find ways to backdoor tools. Find the right people to convince that we are needed. Then let the tools be your advertising. In the end this presentation isn’t about “How to make them drink” … this presentation is about “How To Convince them they are Thirsty”, and then they will go in search of water.
See? Isn’t That Cool?