Ruth Stanley’s Blog

Ruth Stanley, Vice Chair, ASQ Ottawa Section and enthusiastic participant is very pleased to represent the Ottawa Chapter and to share her experience in a daily blog. Read her blog posts here!

For the Next Post – Stay tuned!

Blog Post no. 6

[highlight]21 May 2016 – Personality Matters[/highlight]

Brian R Little, author of “Me, Myself and Us: The SCience of Personality and the Art of Well-being” – Summary of the Key Note Speech

Ruth Stanley, ASQ Ottawa Blogger at the World Conference on Quality and Improvement

Rate yourself from one to ten between the following two extremes.

Reserved vs Outgoing
Easily bored vs Not easily bored
Pessimistic vs Optimistic
Thin skinned vs Thick skinned
Diplomatic and Sensitive vs Blunt
Low need vs High need for excitement
Slow paced vs Fast passed
Low need for social contact vs High need for social contact
Circumspect vs Spontaneous
Introverted vs Extroverted

If you scored
75+ Extreme extrovert
60 + Extrovert
55- 59 Ambivert that can go either way
Less than 54. Introvert

Traits determine the nature of the projects we pursue. There are five big personality traits, each of which have social value:

– Open to experience, which means more creative
– Conscientious, which leads to success in conventional tasks
– Extroverted vs introverted
– Agreeable vs disagreeable. Many gifted artists are neurotic or deeply sensitive.

We need optimal arousal. If it is too high, we cannot carry out tasks or solve problems effectively. Extroverts are chronically below the level of neurocortisone necessary, so they constantly seek stimulation. Introverts get over stimulated and will move away. This is not antisocial, rather they may simply be suffering from over stimulation. An Amnivert can achieve balance.

Brewed awakenings Alcohol is a depressant. Extroverts are more at risk. Introverts will become more pleasant.

Learning and performance: Introverts do better academically, although there is no difference in IQ. Extroverts need to feel engaged and want to be shown. Introverts need structure and clarity, appreciating bullet points before the meeting. Extroverts need their coffee to get going, but Introverts do not do well with coffee. Introverts’ concentration will drop on caffeine.

Memory and performance: Introverts have better long term memory. Extroverts have better short term memory.

Quality vs quantity: Extroverts are quick, but make mistakes. Introverts are slower, but make no mistakes.

Communications: Extroverts are direct and move forward. Introverts use weasel words and will move back. Introverts have an advantage, because they can both engage and listen.

We need to laugh about our differences. Personality has a neurological base with a 40 to 60 percent genetic component. Some of it is culturally based, as some countries reward extroversion. Of course, we can act out of character when it is important, but it does take a toll and can lead to burn out. It is, therefore important to take care and find restorative niches. Have lightness in our lives.


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Blog Post no. 5

[highlight]20 May 2016 – Harnessing Innovation[/highlight]

Josh Linkner, author of the “Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation” – Summary of the Key Note Speech

Ruth Stanley, ASQ Ottawa Blogger at the World Conference on Quality and Improvement

Quality doesn’t happen by chance. It takes a systematic approach. The same can be said of innovation. It is a process that can be broken down.

Take your work to the next level. Take fresh approaches to growth and transformation. Inject the same sort of innovative wonder into quality initiatives.

Use an innovative approach to all parts of your work to drive impact. If you don’t change or adapt you can go out of business. Remember the once great companies that failed to adapt in time. It is from a position of strength that it is time to innovate.

The creators are beating the complaisant. Your role as a quality professional is to be a disruptor, to be an innovator and/or quality entrepreneur. The models of the past will not get us to the promised land. Creativity can not be outsourced.

Consider everyday innovation. How can we drive fresh innovative approaches on a daily basis. We are trained to find the flaws; instead we should celebrate the crazy ideas, encourage creativity. The road to reinvention is through disciplined dreaming.

There is a system for the creativity that drives innovation. There are five obsessions common to innovators.

1. Get curious: Curiosity drives breakthroughs. In stead of asking why, ask why not? This will open your mind to possibilities.

2. Crave what’s next: Best practices are in the past. Start with a blank page to remain fresh. Look for the next practice to better serve your customers. Create an environment that people want to join. It doesn’t have to be a completely new idea. It can be a borrowed idea from other industries and adapted just for you.

3. Defy tradition: Can you judo flip the obvious choice?

4. Get scrappy: Solve complex problems in unorthodox ways with few resources. Double down on creativity.

5. Adapt fast: Continue with micro innovations after the initial idea.

The Innovation Challenge – In the next seven days, uncover a single idea for creative disruption.

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Blog Post no. 4

[highlight]19 May 2016 – Think Like a Rookie[/highlight]

When does knowledge represent a liability?

Liz Weismann, author of “The Multiplier Effect” – Summary of the Key Note Speech

Ruth Stanley, ASQ Ottawa Blogger at the World Conference on Quality and Improvement

Ms Weismann encourages us to think like a rookie. Best practices keep us anchored in the past. We can do the absolute best when we are new. When we are not mired in out-dated assumptions, we can see possibilities.

What is it about being a rookie that makes people talk about their rookie experience with affection? With any new experience, there is that initial moment of panic followed by the desperate hunt for experience. During this experience, we look outward and ask questions, take risks and start to experiment with our antennae up at all times. When we lack resources, we are at our best. Our adrenaline and passion kick in. We improvise. We do our best thinking.

Experience builds blind spots. We go on autopilot. Sometimes we make up things that are not there. Rookie smarts are the upside of inexperience. They kick in when things are important and hard. It’s like double Dutch jump rope. When you jump in you have to jump in big. Cautious but quick is the key. Rookies outperform in terms of speed and simplicity.

We are built for challenge. As challenge goes down so does satisfaction. When we step out of our comfort zone, we feel alive.

How challenged are you?
How long does it take? Usually 3 months
Ready for next challenge. 3 months
Ready for new role. 10 months
Feel stale 20 months

Where you will do your very best work? Use your rookie talent. Be the perpetual rookie. Ask, seek, question, experiment, get feedback

Comfort is a stealthy thing it enters our house and becomes the master.

Signs you are on a plateau:
– Things are running smoothly
– You already have the answers
– You get positive feedback
– You have become the mentor
– You are busy but you are bored
Signs you are on a cliff:
– You are playing safe
– You are becoming negative
– You are fixing other people’s problems

Throwing away your notes can lead to fresh thinking. Instead of relying on yesterday’s best practices, move to tomorrow’s best practices. Instead of directing traffic, ask intelligent questions. Use your knowledge to ask the right questions.

Audit and update your assumptions. What is it that we miss? Learn to look through the eyes of a rookie. There is never nothing left to learn.

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Blog Post no. 3

[highlight]16 May 2016 – ASQ Celebrates 70 Years[/highlight]

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the ASQ* (American Society for Quality)

Ruth Stanley, ASQ Ottawa Blogger at the World Conference on Quality and Improvement



This year marks the 70th anniversary of the ASQ. Today certainly showed me the impact, diversity and sustainability that this global organization has achieved. The day started with a procession including many of the flags of the 140 countries represented at the World Conference on Quality. Seeing over 2,500 dedicated quality professionals gathered together in one room to celebrate the achievements of their fellow members was awe inspiring. Not only multinational, but multi-generational, ASQ members include both young professionals and retirees. Some of the members have 30, 40, 50 and even 60 years of membership.

The closing keynote speaker for the day appropriately, talked about loyalty and what it means to be loyal. James Kane is a behavioural scientist and the author of two upcoming books: the Loyalty Switch and Virtually Loyal. This is a summary of the key points.

Loyalty is not about brand, a reward program or satisfaction. Satisfaction is more about mood whereas loyalty is more about the future. Loyalty involves finding someone who can give you what you want or need.

Can you make my life safer?
Can you make my life easier?
Can you make my life better?

So how do you achieve loyalty? Loyalty can be achieved through trust, a sense of belonging and purpose. Trust means that the person deems that you are competent, of good character, consistent,and have the capacity to give them what they want. These definitions are different for everyone, so the only way to build trust is to manage expectations.

There are a number of components to creating a sense of belonging:

  • recognizing that you have some things in common
  • insight, knowing what is missing that needs to be fulfilled
  • productivity, doing things that people don’t expect you to do
  • inclusion
  • identity, making the decisions in the way that others would make them

Finally, creating loyalty involves a sense of common purpose around a vision, a fellowship or a commitment. It is important to understand that all of your relationships have a message for you and that they want to be loyal to you.

*ASQ, formerly known as the American Society for Quality and the American Society for Quality Control, is a knowledge-based global community of quality professionals, with nearly 80,000 members.


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Blog Post no. 2

[highlight]15 May 2016 – Problem Solving Leadership[/highlight]

Problem Solving Leadership – a summary of the workshop presented by Jeffrey G. Saper, Executive Director of the International Strategic Business Partner Institute

Ruth Stanley, ASQ Ottawa Blogger at the World Conference on Quality and Improvement

Organizations add value by solving problems. Value added depends on organizational performance, which, in turn, depends on its problem solving efficiency. This efficiency depends on individual contributions. Optimizing these contributions depends on the appropriate environment, an environment created by leadership. Note that leadership does not mean leaders. Anyone who has the opportunity and the courage can lead.

Problem solving effectiveness = revenues or increased impact
Problem solving efficiency = profitability or reallocation potential

The primary objective of quality is continuous improvement. In lean terms, quality improves profitability and efficiency by reducing waste. One often overlooked waste is human capital.

“It is only by capitalizing on employees’ creativity that organizations can eliminate the other seven wastes and continuously improve their performance.” Jeffrey Liker, the Toyota Way

Untapped creativity and latent talent represent the deadliest waste of all. However, individual and collective creativity requires an environment where people are willing to share their ideas. We need to ask ourselves, “Are we doing anything to inhibit participation?” Optimizing contribution means knowing what people want to do, what they can do and where they want to go. This leads to the type of problem solving efficiency that increases organizational performance and value-added.

You can’t change the world, but you can change the world that you can touch. 

Leadership is the ability to influence others in the absence of positional power. The power to lead is given by the willingness of others to follow. Through this perspective leadership can be exhibited by anyone, at any level, in any place, at any time. At its best, leadership inspires action and creates the environment for performance.


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Blog Post no. 1

[highlight]14 May 2016 – The ASQ Brand[/highlight]

The ASQ Brand – a summary of the Ideas to Action Gathering workshop at the World Conference on Quality and Improvement 2016

Ruth Stanley, Vice Chair, ASQ Ottawa Section and enthusiastic participant and blogger at the World Conference on Quality and Improvement

The world is changing rapidly.  Many of the jobs that we know now may no longer exist. Our focus and our challenge, as quality professionals, will be to stay relevant and to continue to add value.  As long as we look at quality as separate, we will be limiting our opportunities. We need to mainstream quality approaches and tools, extend beyond the traditional market for quality tools.
“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have and the decisions we waited too long to make.”  Lewis Carroll
Thinking about the ASQ brand and what it stands for is critical.  What is Brand?  Brand is a promise of value. Brand is not necessarily commercial.  It is about the story that you tell through your work and through all of your behaviours and interactions. 
What makes a brand (personal or organizational)?
Purpose + Performance + Perpetual = Promise of Value.

In fact customer satisfaction is a promise kept many times over. Brand becomes your value and what people can expect of you, your function, your organization, you affiliations etc. You are the brand. What does quality mean to you and how will you continue to provide value as a quality professional and ASQ member?

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