World Quality Day 2017
Whether you're buying a coffee, driving your car or at work, your satisfaction and safety depend on a complex network of checks and controls. In this sense, quality is not an abstract concept — it's something that affects everyone, every day. Without quality controls, our world would be a lot less predictable and a lot more dangerous. Setting aside one day of the year to increase awareness of the value of quality is a small acknowledgment of the huge role it plays in our lives.
Nov. 9, 2017, marks this year's edition of World Quality Day. Based on the theme of Everyday Leadership, World Quality Day 2017 is an excellent time to reflect on how quality affects us and what we can do to promote it as a business owner, manager, employee or consumer.
What Is World Quality Day?
World Quality Day is an annual event organized by the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI), typically taking place early in November. World Quality Day was first held in 2008 and, in the past, has been based on themes such as In Pursuit of Excellence, Making Collaboration Count and Building a Quality World Together.
Participating organizations celebrate World Quality Day in a variety of ways. These can include hosting seminars and presentations about a relevant theme, or organizing games and giveaways that promote the importance of quality. Often, these events are focused internally, with the aim of engaging buy-in around management systems and standards, as well as encouraging employees to think about their role in the broader context of the organization.
World Quality Day is also a great opportunity to promote the value of formal quality standards among the general public. When more consumers are aware of what goes into ISO and other certifications, their effectiveness as a marketing tool is strengthened, and ultimately the reputation of your entire industry is enhanced.
This Year’s Theme: What Is Everyday Leadership?
The theme of World Quality Day 2017 — Everyday Leadership — is an especially important one. Everyday leadership stresses the importance of individual actions in a larger quality management system. It reminds us that each person has the potential to be a quality advocate, whether by actively pressing for positive change or simply by understanding their role in the continuous improvement cycle.
A quality management system is only useful if each team member follows its processes precisely every time. Everyday leadership speaks to this concept by focusing on the individual. In an ISO management system, anyone can be a leader — World Quality Day 2017 is a great opportunity to emphasize how and why your team members should take on this responsibility.
How To Be A Quality Leader
CQI identifies eight leadership characteristics of quality professionals. A quality leader should:
Have a clear vision for quality and continuous improvement, developing and implementing strategies that maximize their contribution toward an organization’s strategic goals
Be able to see across employment hierarchies and business functions to understand quality requirements from a holistic perspective
Advocate for the interests of customers and stakeholders, acting as the conscience of the organization and taking steps to intervene when necessary
Whenever possible, work directly with internal and external stakeholders to resolve issues and build better systems based on their requirements
Use evidence-based decision-making when appropriate, and not be afraid to question underlying assumptions when factual data contradicts them
Understand the tools, techniques and approaches used to ensure quality throughout the organization, and how their role fits in with this larger framework
Anticipate problems and make plans ahead of time to avoid them without compromising product or service quality
Take accountability for their role in the quality management system and set an example for others to do the same
One key takeaway from the above is that they are all characteristics anyone can cultivate, whether they're an executive or a ground-level employee. No matter who you are, by developing these skills, you will help your organization enhance quality in everything it does, making it leaner, more flexible and better positioned to respond to the challenges of the future.
Celebrating Quality Leaders
By celebrating the everyday quality leaders in your organization, you encourage others to step up to a leadership role themselves. Here are a few ways to recognize standout employees in the buildup to World Quality Day 2017:
Host a lunch or informal seminar in which managers share stories highlighting ways in which staff have made a positive impact
Challenge other employees to nominate co-workers who exemplify the above characteristics of everyday quality leadership
Hold meet and greets where team members from different business units can learn about each others’ priorities and encourage horizontal collaboration on quality enhancement
Record a YouTube video showcasing a case study on quality leadership and the broader effect it has had on your organization
Looking for more ideas? Visit the CQI World Quality Day 2017 website to download templates, reading materials and other resources that can help you make the most of this day.
Quality Leadership Outside The Workplace
World Quality Day is an excellent opportunity to look at the impact quality has on your life outside of work, too. Being an everyday leader means just that — you see the big-picture goals of quality management and work proactively toward achieving them, every day. Off the job, you can do this by being a more informed consumer and choosing to patronize businesses that make quality management a priority.
This can mean anything from buying your morning coffee at a fair-trade certified cafe, or looking for electronics and other consumer goods that are manufactured in an ISO 14001-registered facility. How you choose to spend your money will ultimately send a message that quality is something consumers value, which will encourage more organizations to review and improve their internal processes and pursue ISO and other certifications.
World Quality Day ultimately speaks to the idea that quality is a collaborative, cumulative process. Let us know how you plan on celebrating World Quality Day 2017, and share your ideas for recognizing everyday quality leaders, in the comments below.