H. James Harrington’s picture

By H. James Harrington

Given all the campaigning by Barack Obama and John McCain, including the many promises they’re making that I believe won’t be kept, I recall my own predictions and visionary assurances a decade ago concerning the quality profession in the 21st century. When I was asked during the mid-1990s, “How do you see the quality profession changing to meet the needs of the 21st century?”, this is how I responded:

Tom Pyzdek’s picture

By Tom Pyzdek

John, Acme Corp.’s new CEO, just heard a brilliant idea for making his numbers this quarter. He needed it. During a conference call with the financial press last month, he made certain promises. If he couldn’t keep them, the company’s stock would surely take a hit. The trouble is, John’s estimates assumed that Acme’s biggest customer, We Be Widgets, would place its usual large order for widget subassemblies. However, due to the sluggish economy, the order was smaller than expected. The result: revenues amiss and earnings below expectations for the quarter.

Fiona, Acme’s chief financial officer, had a suggestion that could save the day. “We have that order from Widget International for next quarter,” she observed. “If we fill and ship it early, we could make this quarter’s numbers.”

John smiled. “Let’s do it.”