In his blog this month, ASQ CEO, Bill Troy writes about the future of Quality, and whether it will be one of evolution or revolution. To me, a "revolution" is about changing the external environment to better suit one's own needs and interests. The idea of forcibly altering the current business landscape to conform to our own strengths seems ill-fated.
Instead, "evolution" is about changing one's self to better adapt to their world. In my opinion, this is the type of fundamental change required. In today's environment, businesses need the ability to:
1) Gather, analyze, and interpret data
2) Solve complex problems
3) Drive innovation
4) Manage and mitigate risk
5) Foster a healthy culture
In many ways, the discipline of "Quality" is well adapted to help modern organizations. Competencies like lean six sigma, process analysis, voice of customer, and risk management are all critical traits. Other traditional strongholds, such as the various ISO9000 disciplines, may need to evolve to become more agile, practical skill-sets based on the specific industry and/or organization.
In terms of evolving new skills, today's 'Quality Professional' must develop and refine skills around product innovation, change management, data mining, and organizational development. To me, this will be the archetype needed for an organization to consistently delivery high quality products and services that create value.