Welcome to March 2014 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

Our topic for in-depth view is: Nonconformity / Non – conformance.

The Quality profession would tend to take these two words in the same stride. However, a closer look is likely to throw up some subtle difference – if not so much in the   colloquial or practical meaning(s), certainly in terms of spirit of the content of the approach.

Hence, I have decided to take up Nonconformity, Non-conformance and their literal antonyms Conformity and Conformance for a separate detailed study each month, before we take up the discussions of these terms from the perspective of Quality Management – as a profession and as a function.

So, first, we take up Nonconformity in the present edition.

Apparently Nonconformity has far reaching different shades of meaning and intent in different fields, such as Gender Diversity, Religion, Psychology, Sociology, History and the similar other fields.  Therefore, we would confine our discussions to the articles which remain GENERAL in nature.

  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Nonconformity as ‘failure or refusal to behave the way most people behave: failure or refusal to conform’.

If a fireman came to work in a police outfit or clown suit, that would be a clear case of nonconformity. Where there’s nonconformity, there’s difference.

Nonconformity means that someone is doing things differently from the norm.

Too much nonconformity can create chaos, but without a little nonconformity, life would be pretty boring.

  • Theasarus.com defines Nonconformity  as  ‘belief, behaviour different from most’.

Synonyms for Nonconformity

denial  | disaffection | disagreement | disapprobation | disapproval | discordance |  disobedience | dissent s| eccentricity s| exception | heresyta| | | heterodoxytar | iconoclasmta |insubordination| lawlessnessar| | negationta| | nonacceptance s| | noncompliance | | objection |opposition | originality | recalcitrance| | recusancy | rejectionar | strangeness |r| unconventionality | uniqueness | unorthodoxy | unruliness | vetor | violation | contumaciousness | |mutinousness | nonagreementar | nonconsent |

Antonyms for nonconformity

acceptance | agreement | allowance | approval |concurrence | endorsement | harmony |normality | obedience |observance | orthodoxy | peace | permission |ratification | sanction | usualness

In the battle against conventional beliefs, we focus on three Unconventional Strategies for Life, Work and Travel. I define non-conformity as “a lack of orthodoxy in thoughts or beliefs” or “the refusal to accept established customs, attitudes, or ideas.”

Under the category Non-conformity  on this blog, we have two articles that our draw our attention –

“The past always seems better when you look back on it than it did at the time. And the present never looks as good as it will in the future.” -Peter Benchley

  • In Limbo – Being between things is tough. There’s a bright future ahead! You can picture it, just out of reach in the near distance.

You could accept less than you dreamed of, in other words. But why would you do that?

Chances are, there’s only one real option: keep working away. Tick-tock. Check off the tasks one at a time.

Two steps forward, one step back.

There is a fine line that separates conformity from nonconformity, and both of them from intelligent decision making.  Although the distinction may seem clear, I believe the difference is far more complex than most people are aware of.  Why?  Because an accurate measure of conformity or nonconformity is based exclusively on an individual’s true understanding of a subject.

 

Traditional religions have generally prohibited tattoos on the grounds they encourage superficial thinking (what’s on the surface is not what matters).

The human mind is easily programmed, and human behavior is largely autonomous once the sub-conscious has a suggestion of what to do. By default, people seem inclined to conform to the ideas, environment and behaviors around them, at least as a means of survival and of fitting in. Unless an individual takes charge of their own mind and their own behavior, most people are content to follow along with what other people are doing, even if that means doing something self-destructive.

In no particular order, here are the top five ways to practice non-conformity in the world that we have created for ourselves – the matrix of self-destruction.

Monetary Non-conformity – The human race is enslaved to a corrupt and inflationary monetary system. To act as a balance to this, any opportunity to conduct life without using the dollar and the credit system is a stunning act of non-conformity.

Shun the Materialistic and the Entertainment Driven Lifestyle – To be realistic about one’s true needs and to consume less “stuff” makes one stand out as a non-conformist in today’s culture.

Health Rebel – Taking control of diet, finding some enjoyable type of exercise, and being courageous enough to try out alternative, non-pharmaceutical modalities of healing when possible, are, oddly enough, all one has to do in order to stand out as a health non-conformist.

Re-Education – The quality of the future can be seen in the quality of our youth, and the current models of building quality people seem to be falling short. Trying out new modalities of education for our children is an inspiring way to work towards a better vision for the future.

Experience-Based Spirituality – The non-conformist of today explores practices and ideas that work best to induce direct experience, following intuition to develop a connection to the sacred part of humanity, which is so routinely trampled in our hectic world. Finding inner peace through whichever religion or philosophy you choose is critical to creating a world free from toxic effects of collective fear.

These are certainly not the first words written on the subject, and are definitely the last! I am sure; there would be many more enlightening materials that would provide a far-more encompassing view of the subject. The more we know what we do-not-know of Nonconformity, we can turn the knowledge for creative use of nonconformity for sustained improvements.

Next, we turn our sails to our regular sections, starting with an international body actively engaged in furtherance of quality.

  • National Institute of Science and Technology of  US Department of Commerce is one of the USA’s oldest physical science laboratories. US Congress established the agency to remove a major handicap to U.S. industrial competitiveness at the time—a second-rate measurement infrastructure that lagged behind the capabilities of England, Germany, and other economic rivals. Today, NIST measurements support the smallest of technologies—nanoscale devices so tiny that tens of thousands can fit on the end of a single human hair—to the largest and most complex of human-made creations, from earthquake-resistant skyscrapers to wide-body jetliners to global communication networks. A-Z subject index — alphabetical listing of research topics, activities, programs, products, and services would help to explore NIST’s web site to learn about its current projects.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode Culture of Quality:

Culture is the driving force of quality. Creating and sustaining a quality culture are much-discussed topics in the quality community. In this episode, we explore the ways that quality culture contributes to organizational performance. We’ll also learn what quality leaders can do to take organizational culture into their own hands. We’ll also recognize quality engineers and their superhero status.
The Related Video – Driving Culture of Quality –  adds further value.
A culture of quality can mean different things to different organizations. Determining what culture of quality means is the first step in the improvement journey.

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – John Hunter

No doubt, we are familiar with the Management Improvement Carnival which has been the regular feature at The Carnival of john-hunterQuality Management Articles and Blogs.

John Hunter has a background in online quality information management. He has developed quality improvement methods and software at the quality management office of the Secretary of Defense and the White House Military Office. He blogs at Curious Cat Management Blog .

John Hunter writes primarily about management improvement on this blog – which makes sense given the title – through the range of topics like Deming, lean thinking, innovation, customer focus, continual improvement, six sigma… In the very early days he had more on investing, economic data, science, engineering and travel. Then he created three new blogs (Curious Cat Investment and Economics Blog, Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog, Curious Cat Travel Photos blog)

In this month’s edition we will take a look at his post Poor Results Should be Addressed by Improving the System Not Blaming Individuals.

“I should estimate that in my experience most troubles and most possibilities for improvement add up to the proportions something like this: 94% belongs to the system (responsibility of management), 6% special.” – Page 315 of Out of the Crisis by W. Edwards Deming

I look forward to your active “non-conformant” participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey …………….