Quality Progress - November 2014 - 45
BY PETER MERRILL
Pillars of Progress
How global competitiveness relates to quality and innovation
IN NOVEMBER 2011, my QP article "All
The WEF explains the pillars in complex
An ice storm in December 2013 took out
Over the Map" analyzed the findings of the
language and 6,000 words-and that is only
power for up to a week for some-again,
World Economic Forum (WEF). I showed
the introduction. I'm going to distill the
the cause was fallen trees. These events
how different countries perform from a
essentials from the 12-pillar description to
demonstrate a lack of preventive thinking
global perspective in regard to their innova-
show how quality and innovation be-
for infrastructure. Prevention, of course, is
tion capabilities. In November 2013, my QP
come increasingly important as a nation's
a fundamental principle in quality.
article "Changing Tides" examined global
economy develops, enhancing its produc-
innovation trends from 2011-2013, revealing
tivity and, as a result, the prosperity of its
how innovation in the United States and
Joseph M. Juran said: "You plan and man-
Canada was slipping compared to countries
age quality in the same way as you plan
such as Sweden, Finland and Germany,
and manage finances."4 Many miss this
which I called the Nordic cluster.
The legal and administrative framework in
important link, thinking about quality and
which a nation's people and its organiza-
environmental management systems, but
at 565 pages.3 In this QP issue, which focuses
tions interact must be free of bureaucracy
forgetting about the financial link.
on global quality, I'm not going into the deep
and corruption so it can provide efficient
data analysis I've done in years past. Instead,
services. There also must be freedom from
if you go deep into debt, you start paying
I will explain the process the WEF uses to
political interference in the judiciary. China
higher rates of interest because you are
establish its global competitive index (GCI).
and India's GCIs especially suffer in this
a higher risk. A good example is Japan.
Understanding this process helps in
The WEF report is a massive document
One principle of macroeconomics is that
regard, but you also may recognize some
Although the country scores well in the in-
understanding where to find fertile ground
of these issues closer to home. This is why
novative capability (pillar 12) it is beset by
for quality and innovation on a global level.
quality in government is vital.
debt problems that hold it back globally.
Apply this principle to your organiza-
It also reminds us to apply these economic
principles in our own backyard. It's easy to
tion. If you start running high debt, it will
assume that everyone is open to the quality
Well-developed roads, rail, sea and air com-
get in the way of your ability to deliver
principles, but that is not necessarily so. I'm
munications enable the producers of goods
quality products and services. You can't
also going to show that all roads ultimately
and services to deliver efficiently. Reliable
take advantage of new innovative opportu-
lead to innovation.
electricity supplies and a telecom network
nities if you can't finance them.
mean business can be conducted without
impediment. The British government made
4. Health, primary education
The WEF's GCI is based on 12 pillars:
a fundamentally flawed decision in the
It's now understood, even more so than just
1980s when it decided to invest North Sea
20 years ago, that investing in basic educa-
oil revenues into entrepreneurship without
tion is fundamental to a nation's success.
3. Macroeconomic environment.
simultaneously investing in infrastructure.
It must be open to all and enable everyone
4. Health and primary education.
Most of that funding flowed offshore, and
to contribute to the success of a business
5. Higher education and training.
the country now has an inadequate road
and a nation. Yet, there are still parts of the
6. Goods market efficiency.
system in which travel times between
world in which this is not an inalienable
7. Labor market efficiency.
major cities can take two or three hours for
8. Financial market development.
an 80-mile journey.
9. Technological readiness.
In Canada and the United States in
Health and safety are also fundamental
to people being able to make that same
10. Market size.
August 2013, a fallen tree caused a massive
contribution. OHSAS 18001, soon to be ISO
11. Business sophistication.
blackout in the Northeast, affecting more
45001, has become widely adopted and
than 50 million people for two or three days.
recognizes that to be able to draw on the
November 2014 * QP 45
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - November 2014
Mr. Pareto Head
Bank on It
The System Is the Solution
Quality in the First Person
One Good Idea
Quality Progress - November 2014