Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – June 2020

Welcome to June 2020 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

For the year 2020, we have chosen the core subject of Revisiting Basic Quality Concepts w.r.t. the sustained success of the organization As of now we have visited

We take up Opportunity Based Approach as our next core concept this month–

One key area of recent development in the risk-based thinking is the inclusion of opportunity in the definition of risk, with a resulting broadening of the scope of the risk process to manage the uncertainty in both upside and downside proactively. Encompassing both opportunities and threats within a single definition of risk is a clear statement of intent, recognizing that both are equally important influences over business success, and both need to be managed proactively.[1]

The more complex anVUCA (an acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity)  environment is, the more unexpected opportunities appear and disappear again just as quickly. Therefore, opportunity management is above all a mindset. A mindset that also derives opportunities from risks. In effect, this would call for moving from the traditional causal model of decision-making logic to non-causal decision-making model, also known as effectuation.

Effectuation knows four principles. These principles stand in contrast to a causal logic that is often applied in classical (management) organizations:

  • Middle orientation (vs. goal orientation)
  • Reasonable input or loss (vs. expected return)
  • Using circumstances and coincidences (vs. avoiding)
  • Partnerships (vs. competitive thinking)

Effectuation also differs from causal logic in the subject of “posture”. The following is a small presentation of the attitude of the two orientations in comparison:

  Causal Logic Effectuation
Basic Idea The future is predictable and plannable The future is not predictable, but it can be influenced
Basis for Action goal-oriented resource-oriented
Risk Orientation expected return affordable effort or affordable loss
Attitude towards others competitive cooperative
Attitude to Coincidences avoid utilize

And as soon as it makes sense to design projects with plans and implement them, this should also happen in practice.[2]


The role of a quality professional needs to be able to facilitate an ongoing dialogue linking organizational context with the needs of interested parties (stake holders) during the business / product life cycle, w.r.t. the strategic direction of the organization and provide methods to facilitate dialogue with stakeholders. With this new role the quality professional will be key to improvements in products, processes and services while identifying new technology opportunities to effectively meet stakeholder expectations in the changing context of the organization.[3]

In order to present these concepts of creating a new mindset, here are a few videos. These should help in clarifying these concepts with the help of some real-life experiences.

Opportunity Based Thinking – Andrew Isham – The basic premise is – We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. (Albert Einstein). In order to that, ne should ask the questions on the validity of the assumptions that are already made.

Uncommon Sense: Moving from a Problem-Focused to Solution-Focused Mindset | Mel Gill | TEDxVarna suggests that better look at the problem as a situation. View that as possibility, if not available outside, then from within. Rembert always, to take the first step, towards action of initiating that possibility into the reality. Do not, ever, accept failure as your destination.

How to Identify a Business Opportunity? | Sanjeev Bikhchandani | TEDxSRCC – is all about finding out what need or expectation of a customer, or for that matter, the relevant interested party, has remained unmet. Think about problems that are unsolved.

See Problems As Opportunities | Mona Patel | TEDxNewBedford –

We all have places in our lives where we say, “I can’t.” Even though this very human, the fact remain that these are excusesTo design your way around the “can’t,” you have to understand what your “can’t” is. Then, start looking at the problem as an opportunity. Funnel down the options to a manageable actionable set.

Additional Reading

Risk and Opportunity Management – Lockheed Martin

[N.B. – Detailed note on Opportunities Based Approach can be read / downloaded by clicking on the hyper link.]

We will now turn to our regular sections:

In the series the Organizational Culture, we have taken up Why Organizational Culture is (that Much !?) Important?

We now watch ASQ TV, wherein we look at a few relevant videos from the archive:

  • Risk, Organizational Culture and Small Business – In this video, Denise Robitaille, member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to Technical Committee 176 (TAG 176), discusses how the revised version of ISO 9001 may handle risk as well as the revision’s effect on small organizations.

Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems posting for June 2020 –

  • Change: Management Must Understand Why Changes Fail – Rick Maurer, in his book “Beyond the Wall of Resistance: Why 70% of All Changes Still Fail – and What You Can Do About It,” listed four big mistakes that change leaders consistently make: assuming that understanding equals support and commitment; understanding the potential power of employee and management engagement; failure to appreciate the power of fear; and failure to acknowledge that even a slight lack of trust and confidence in leaders can kill a good idea.
  • Keep Going – We need to carefully consider each commitment before making it. After deciding to make the commitment, create a plan and move toward the goal….  The way to keep going is to continually remind yourself why the project was initially started. This will provide a compelling reason to be persistent…. Keep going, and after the journey is complete, enjoy the moment to bask in the glow of accomplishment. But do not become stagnant. Make another commitment to start anew as that is what life is about

I look forward to your views / comments / inputs to further enrich the subjects of Basics of Quality and Organizational Culture and their role in Creating and Maintaining Sustained Success.

Note: The images depicted here above are through courtesy of respective websites who have the copyrights for the respective images.

[1] Managing Both Sides of Risk: Threat and Opportunity – Dr David Hillson

[2] Decision making in uncertain circumstances

[3]Opportunity Based Thinking; Is this a Paradigm Shift for a Quality Professional?” – Angelo Scangas, Quality Support Group, Inc.


In July 2011, I opted to retire from my active career as a practicing management professional. In the 38 years that I pursued this career, I had opportunity to work in diverse capacities, in small-to-medium-to-large engineering companies. Whether I was setting up Greenfield projects or Brownfield projects, nurturing the new start-ups or accelerating the stabilized unit to a next phase growth, I had many more occasions to take the paths uncharted. The life then was so challenging! One of the biggest casualty in that phase was my disregards towards my hobbies - Be with The Family, Enjoy Music form Films of 1940s to mid-1970s period, write on whatever I liked to read, pursue amateur photography and indulge in solving the chess problems. So I commenced my Second Innings to focus on this area of my life as the primary occupation. At the end of four years, I am now quite a regular blogger. I have been able to build a few very strong pen-relationships. I maintain contact with 38-years of my First Innings as freelance trainer and process facilitator. And yet, The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

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