Quality Progress - July 2013 - 41

InnovatIon ImPeratIve BY Peter Merrill Getting a Jump Start Resources and advice for advancing your career in innovation in last year’s July issue of QP,1 I wrote innovation means. At the end of the day, about what a career in innovation might we all came out of the experience with a innovation is a collaborative activity. look like. In this column, I want to huge sense of excitement at the remark- Because of that, you realize that one of provide you with some ways to get there. able level of consensus that had been your key responsibilities as an innova- If, like me, you find innovation exciting achieved. Five years ago, this would not tion manager is to understand your own and you want to engage, I can tell you the have been possible. The day was graphi- strengths and, importantly, understand time to do so is now, and ASQ is doing cally recorded and the knowledge has the strengths of the people you work several things to help you. been downloaded as the seed material with. It also will be important to have a for initiating the BoK. The Innovation project team that has a balance of com- Group has been formed and was officially Interest Group spent Saturday setting up petencies. launched at the World Conference on the first ASQ innovation booth at WCQI Quality and Improvement (WCQI) in and on Sunday evening, the ship was three touch screens that conference at- May in Indianapolis. The group morphed launched at the opening reception. tendees could use to determine which of First, an ASQ Innovation Interest from the technical committee formed by During the conference, many visitors You cannot innovate on your own— At the WCQI innovation booth, we had the four innovation aptitudes they were: the ASQ Quality Management Division to the booth asked to join the group. If a creator, a connector, a developer or a (QMD) in 2008. Organizational change you are interested, you also can join by doer. If you missed this opportunity, find frequently starts as a smaller effort within going to www.asq.org/innovation-group your aptitude at www.petermerrill.com/ an organization, and I want to give credit or scan the QR code at the end of this self-assessment. to QMD for its foresight in initiating this article. You can begin developing your development. own BoK on innovation. The Innovation Interest Group is In the general population, the balance of the four aptitudes is roughly equal, although connectors account for less than dedicated to promoting innovation as a Collaborative activity 20% of people. In North America, 25% of subject within ASQ by sharing knowledge One of the first steps for a would-be in- people are doers. In ASQ, there will be a and, ultimately, developing a body of novation professional is to understand bias toward connectors, as our commu- knowledge (BoK). In the future, we hope where your competencies lie. Many say, nity is focused on problem solving. I have to see ASQ offer a certification in innova- “Oh, I’m not creative, so I can’t be an seen quality functions in which everyone tion, which, if you are seeking a career in innovator.” That’s not true. We all have is a connector. This is because so many innovation, will be important for you. skills and knowledge to contribute at the of us are problem solvers. The spread different stages of the innovation process. of data from those who took the self- Creating consensus Creative people are good at seeing op- Many may think the BoK on innovation will be scattered and diverse. To combat conceptual solutions, that, ASQ Board of Directors Chair John but they can’t work Timmerman had the vision to hold a think without those who tank on innovation, which took place on are good at develop- the Friday prior to WCQI. After the board ing working solutions approved the activity, we invited a range and delivering the of experts in the field, including ASQ CEO solution to the mar- Paul Borawski. assessment at WCQI was 10% creators, portunity and finding ketplace. As Thomas Fifteen experts—from the United Edison said, “Genius States, Canada, the United Kingdom and is 1% inspiration and Finland—spent a day discussing what 99% perspiration.”2 July 2013 • QP 41 http://www.asq.org/innovation-group http://www.petermerrill.com/ http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - July 2013

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Feeling Connected
Take Charge
Full View
Reinventing Excellence
Innovation Imperative
Measure for Measure
Quality in the First Person
Standards Outlook
Career Corner
Statistics Roundtable
ASQ's Continuing Education and Professional Development Directory
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
One Good Idea

Quality Progress - July 2013

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