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Melting Pot Boils Over

The article “White Men Can’t Lead Everyone: 8 Ways to Practice Multiculturalism” ( QualityInsider, http://qualitydigest.com/IQedit/QDarticle_text.lasso?articleid=12342) is very discriminatory. Color, race, religion, gender, or culture should never be considered. It should be the best person for the position. Unfortunately, we live in a prejudiced society and we feel that someone needs to help the so-called minority. Interviews and testing should be behind curtains with numbers or initials as identifying factors. Who is most knowledgeable? Who has more experience? If a white man, or whatever individual, is the best candidate for the job, so be it.

—Ralph Basciano


Does the author really want to convey that old = white = male = authoritarian? I didn’t think that having a titular head of an organization was a “white trait.” Is that the implication? Or is this just my Western bias? In the media, CEOs may be “known for what they take,” as the author states, but in the real world of today’s market, they are far better known for the unique leadership skills that can make the difference between a company surviving or not. That’s the reason that they’re so well paid, corporate raiders and thieves being in the minority.

I find little in your opinion piece to agree with except for the advice to listen to other cultures… sort of like what many are doing by embracing the methods that Toyota has used, which combined the Japanese culture with other ideas, some imported from this country. Introducing new ideas is one thing; diving headfirst into the multicultural mire is quite another.

—Chuck Greer


The article was thought-provoking and right on target. It reinforces for me that Quality Digest continues to take on the tough issues. Most business communication has not yet caught up with addressing the changing cultural demographic and how it affects or will affect the workforce. Recent media attention has remained focused on the exiting of the boomers. That’s important, but not the only phenomenon meriting close scrutiny. Good article. Keep them coming. Thanks.

—Yolanda de Jesus


Editor’s note: We received a tremendous volume of reader response to this article, which was, in fact, an opinion piece. Some of the mail was positive, but the majority was negative. Although the author made several valid points, we feel in retrospect that the article should have been better edited to reflect a more evenhanded approach to the question of multiculturalism and leadership. Quality Digest does not condone or support discrimination in any form. To anyone who was offended by this piece, we sincerely apologize.


Purpose, Vision, Goals

Regarding Tom Pyzdek’s September column “Introducing Quality 2.0,” it’s hard enough to get management teams to understand the relationship between “vision” and “mission,” let alone “purpose.” Your comments on this would be appreciated.

—Carl A. Beard


In response, Tom Pyzdek provides an example that illustrates the difference between vision, purpose, and mission.

“Vision: Something we believe in. For example, Ronald Reagan had a vision of a world without a communist Soviet Union.

Purpose: A broad statement of what we will do as a result of this belief. Reagan increased spending on defense as a result of his belief that communism was an inferior economic system that couldn’t sustain itself if it had to spend too much on defense.

Mission: A specific goal that guides our actions. The Strategic Defense Initiative (i.e., “Star Wars”) was a mission pursued by Reagan to help further his purpose and move the world toward his vision.”


Demingites Respond

Mike Micklewright’s “Society of Anti- Deming—SAD” was a great article ( Quality Insider, http://qualitydigest.com/IQedit/QDarticle_text.lasso?articleid=12329). What an appropriate title. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I have been researching the history of quality for a presentation that I’m working on, and this article provides great examples of why Deming developed the 14 principles. It’s unfortunate that many of the statements made in the article are actually happening.

—Lea Weber


“Society of Anti-Deming” is a very clever article. Unfortunately, there’s a tremendous amount of truth to it. When it’s a choice between taking care of your internal customer or the employee, or pursuing short-term profit, you’ll find that many U.S. companies still choose the short-term profit.

—James Mullaney


GD&T: Gotta Love It

Regarding William Tandler’s article, “Is GD&T a Lot of Gol-Derned Trouble?” ( InsideMetrology, http://qualitydigest.com/IQedit/QDarticle_text.lasso?articleid=12354): For most metrologists, it’s a love-hate relationship. We love the rationale behind GD&T, but hate the irrational/impractical usage by designers. Thank you for this much-needed series. There is a lot of wrong GD&T inspection interpretation out here in the “real” world of metrology.

—Scott Gooch


Women CEOs

In the article “More Women Directors, Better Performance” ( Quality Insider, http://qualitydigest.com/IQedit/QDarticle_news.lasso?articleid=12377), there appears to be a failure to acknowledge the second note at the bottom of the study summary: “Correlation does not prove or imply causation.”

The largest corporations will often have the most room for director-level positions, which naturally means that they’re more likely to have a larger number of women serving in that capacity. While it’s possible that adding women to company leadership does indeed lead to performance improvements, that can’t be demonstrated with simple tallies. A publication dedicated to the quality profession should strive to interpret statistical information rather than read a result into it.

—Jason Hoath