Influential Voices: The Future of Quality

A fascinating blog post on the Future of Quality by Edwin Garro reminded me of a meme I saw on Facebook. It is a quote by Dr. Temple Grandin, “We’re focusing so much on academics that we’ve taken out things like art, sewing, cooking, woodworking, and other things that introduce kids to careers.” While the program that Edwin describes sounds amazing, I can’t help but wonder if these kids have also had the opportunity to learn what is essentially life skills while attending school. In a conversation on my friend’s post on Facebook, many of those who commented noted that they didn’t have the chance to take these things, but they are not the kids that Dr. Grandin is talking about. My kids are. Last week, I had the opportunity to spend some time talking to my son’s shop teacher. He was new to our school district, and he noted that in some districts, as they closed their drafting programs, they were also closing their shops. This is not a great trend. Our middle school offers ALL of these classes – my son even took some of the things he made in sewing to the county fair this past summer. I consider myself lucky that we have access to good schools in our area without needing to go to private schools. I believe the future of quality MUST start with a strong foundation in education. What do you think?

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Does Mission Matter – Influential Voices

The title of Pat La Londe’s View from the Q guest post is one that really resonated with me. One of the things that I’ve had the privilege of doing as part of my job is to train coworkers on our customer satisfaction surveys. As part of the discussion, I brought them to our Mission, Vision and Values, and showed them the connection to what we were doing. This simple step made a big difference. There is no way you’re going to be able to get where you’re trying to go if you don’t know why you’re going there.

A number of years ago, I was on the board of a small non-profit that had never taken the time before to do any strategic planning, or understanding why the organization existed. That board really struggled to find direction. While strategic planning was not a cure all, having a mission and vision made a difference in our ability to move the organization forward. It helped us to focus our energies on the areas that were most important to our business and over time, turned the organization around.

Mission does matter. How do you make your organization’s mission work for you?