Quality Progress - March 2018 - 47

The third key behavior in a creative
culture is experimentation-that
is, a willingness to try things and
not be afraid to fail. Capturing the
learning from failure is how we grow
knowledge. Willingness to take risk
has been suppressed over the last
decade.
Perhaps one of the best stories
of celebrating learning from failure
is the popular household product,
WD-40. When Norman Larsen finally
found his solution back in 1953, he
recognized the learning from 39 previous failures by naming his product
WD (water displacement) No. 40.8
This creative culture gets us to
a radical concept solution that can
potentially beat the competition.
However, as Thomas Edison said,
"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99%
perspiration."9 The execution phase
of innovation demands the process
efficiency and speed to market of
quality management, which is vital
for delivery of innovative solutions.
The challenge is how to enable
the creativity culture to coexist with
the execution culture and the speed
of quality management. You can be
sure that someone else has a similar
or the same idea. The execution
culture requires sharp focus on
the finish line. An effective quality
management system becomes
imperative.
A quality culture reduces process variation, increases process
efficiency and produces highly
predictable results. It starts with
the need for focus on today's
customer. With innovation,
the focus is on tomorrow's
customer. The job of quality
leadership is to set direction
and engage the people-which
is the same in both cultures. We
see divergence in the approach
to managing processes, as
already mentioned.

Measurement also will be different:
Measurement in quality management is more granular. In both cases,
improvement is driven by measurement, and business partners are
an essential part of the business
ecosystem. The challenge, therefore,
is to deal with the areas of difference, which are primarily in process
management. The solution lies in
organization structure.

Structure for coexistence

There are different structural frameworks that can be used to allow
these two cultures to coexist, and we
must find the one that works best
for us. As organizations grow, they
become less agile, and flexibility is
essential to allow creativity.
To allow creativity, we need the
organization to reduce hierarchy,
encourage diversity and be independent. If an organization has grown
too large, a spin-off may be needed.
And it may be best for a spin-off
to develop its own IT and HR to
encourage new knowledge and new
behavior. The leader of the spin-off
also may need to report to a higher
level to bypass roadblocks.10
You must recognize new
behaviors, not results. Recognize
participation in innovation and not
heroic defenses of the old. Reinforcing new behaviors builds trust,
especially when they are based on
the new values that they imply.
A culture of quality and a platform
of quality management are essential

for delivering innovative offerings.
Innovative new offerings only
develop when a creativity culture
coexists with the quality culture in
an organization that is structured to
allow for that coexistence.
REFERENCES AND NOTES
1. International Organization
for Standardization (ISO), ISO
9001:2000-Quality management
systems-Requirements, www.iso.org/
standard/21823.html.
2. Ibid.
3. ISO, ISO 10018-Quality management-
Guidelines on people involvement
and competence, www.iso.org/
standard/46233.html.
4. If you want to know where you will
engage best in the innovation process,
visit ASQ's Innovation Division website
(http://asq.org/innovation-group) and
do the self-assessment. Find out whether
you fit in one of the two creative steps, or
maybe you can engage better in one of
the execution steps of development and
delivery that follow.
5. Terrence E. Deal and Allan A. Kennedy,
Corporate Cultures, Addison-Wesley,
1982.
6. Scott Page, The Difference: How the
Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups,
Firms, Schools and Societies, Princeton
University Press, 2007.
7. Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly
Effective People, Simon & Schuster, 1989.
8. WD-40, "Fascinating Facts You Never
Learned in School," https://wd40.com/
cool-stuff/history.
9. Thomas Edison's direct quote is "Genius
is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."
Wikiquote, http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/
Thomas_Alva_Edison (case sensitive).
10. For more examples, see Peter Merrill's
Innovation Imperative column
"Coordinating Coexistence," from July
2017's Quality Progress at http://asq.org/
quality-progress/2017/07/innovationimperative/coordinating-coexistence.
html.

Peter Merrill is president of Quest Management Inc., an innovation
consultancy based in Burlington, Ontario. Merrill is the author of
several ASQ Quality Press books, including Innovation Never Stops
(2015), Do It Right the Second Time, second edition (2009), and
Innovation Generation (2008). He is a member of ASQ, previous
chair of the ASQ Innovation Division and current chair of the ASQ
Innovation Think Tank. Merrill is also head of delegation for his
country to ISO/TC 279 Innovation Management.

qualityprogress.com ❘ March 2018

QP 47


http://www.iso.org/standard/21823.html http://www.iso.org/standard/46233.html http://www.asq.org/innovation-group https://www.wd40.com/cool-stuff/history http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Thomas_Alva_Edison http://www.asq.org/quality-progress/2017/07/innovation-imperative/coordinating-coexistence.html http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - March 2018

Seen and Heard
Expert Answers
Progress Report
Mr. Pareto Head
Career Coach
My Quality Story
In the Right Direction
A Different Kind of BBQ
Gaining Ground
Impeding Progress
Innovation Imperative
Statistics Spotlight
Standard Issues
Marketplace
Footnotes
Back to Basics
Quality Progress - March 2018 - INTRO
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover1
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover2
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 1
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 2
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 3
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 4
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 5
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Seen and Heard
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 7
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Expert Answers
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 9
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Progress Report
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 11
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 12
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Mr. Pareto Head
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Career Coach
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 15
Quality Progress - March 2018 - My Quality Story
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 17
Quality Progress - March 2018 - In the Right Direction
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 19
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 20
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 21
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 22
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 23
Quality Progress - March 2018 - A Different Kind of BBQ
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 25
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 26
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 27
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 28
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 29
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 30
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 31
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Gaining Ground
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 33
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 34
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 35
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 36
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Impeding Progress
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 38
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 39
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 40
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 41
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 42
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 43
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Innovation Imperative
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 45
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 46
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 47
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Statistics Spotlight
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 49
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 50
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 51
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 52
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 53
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Standard Issues
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 55
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 56
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 57
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Marketplace
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 59
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Footnotes
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 61
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 62
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 63
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Back to Basics
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover3
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover4
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