In their annual report on the Future of Quality, the ASQ tackles a variety of topics facing management today. One of the articles focused on the future of leadership and the need to move from "efficiency to adaptability".
I recommend reading it, especially since the advice goes well beyond the Quality field or even management in general. The ability to adapt one's skillset to an ever changing world may be the greatest skill of all!
Each of us has formed a unique perspective on the world based on our education, training, relationships, and experiences. From that, we develop our own approach to analyzing and
solving life's problems. But what happens when our old solutions no longer work on the new problems?
It would be great if life (and business) had perpetual predictability. But we all know it doesn't - think about all change happening around us... new technologies, customer needs, employee expectations, social landscape, information sharing, generational trends... the list goes on and on. Our "experience" can sometimes give us a false sense of
confidence. It's a poor assumption to think that any of our old methodologies will work beyond today. At best, it will leave us frustrated... at worst, it will leave us obsolete.
"Adaptability" has to become a core skillset for the modern Manager / Quality professional. Just by acknowledging this, we force ourselves to ask new questions: How can we spot new trends? How do we keep up with our industry and profession? How do we stay in touch with the changing needs of customers and employees? And most importantly, how do we acquire the new skills needed to tackle the problems of tomorrow. Our ability to evolve as a leader is (and will be) our greatest asset!