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Vince Desmond, CEO, CQI and CQI Hong Kong Members attending "iHub" branch event

Reflections on quality in four quotes and three cities: London - Hong Kong - Tokyo

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  • Vince Desmond, CEO, CQI and CQI Hong Kong Members attending "iHub" branch event
    Author: Vince Desmond
    CEO, CQI

    Our Chief Executive, Vince Desmond, reflects on his recent visit to CQI and IRCA Japan in Tokyo and our Hong Kong Branch. Key takeaways include the dedication and commitment of quality professionals leading development and learning through volunteering, cross-cultural quality, and the positive impacts of digital and sustainable quality approaches.

    In April 2024, I visited Hong Kong and Tokyo for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in London, I share my reflections.  

    On quality professionals


    “Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame but greatness, because greatness is determined by service.” Martin Luther King 


    One thing that always amazes me is the commitment and passion of our members to help others grow and develop. Ian Streeter leads the CQI and IRCA Hong Kong branch and, with his committee, has developed a hub for local members to network, learn, and develop. It is no surprise that Hong Kong produced the CQI’s Emerging Talent Award winner in 2018, Carmen Chin. Tokyo, CQI and IRCA Japan continues to grow to almost 4,000 members. The scale of the events and content being offered and shared within the quality community is impressive – explore their dedicated website to learn more.  

    I dedicate this paragraph to them and our 350 volunteer members who are the heartbeat of our global professional body.

    Vince Desmond, CEO, CQI 

    Our committed volunteers run everything from our board of trustees to our branches, and from our standards development work with BSI and ISO to our research and content advisory panels. 

    On the new world


    “People will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.” Aldous Huxley


    I suspect that Huxley would be shocked to see how prescient his 1932 book, Brave New World, was as we confront – almost 100 years later – the impacts of consumerism, technocracy, totalitarianism, and individualism. In this context, the CQI has been promoting the role of the quality community in helping organisations and society extract value from digital technologies while mitigating the risks. So, it was good to see that digital quality and sustainable quality were high on the agenda in April. I joined the Hong Kong branch for a visit to the Construction Innovation Centre, which allowed us to consider the quality implications of everything from smart helmets to digital twins.  

    Japanese society has combined the digital and sustainability topics under its ‘Society 5.0’ concept. I have written on this before in terms of the Toyota strategy, which brings this concept to life in practice.

    CQI Hong Kong Branch Chair, Ian Streeter meeting Hong Kong Society for Quality Chair, Dr. Jane Wong and Vince Desmond, CEO, CQI

    During my visit, I met CQI and IRCA members and partners in both Hong Kong and Japan working on projects from investigating how AI might support and even perform management systems assessments, to developing national AI regulation. All of this adds to the body of knowledge, and I look forward to seeing the results.

    On culture and quality 


    Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” 


    As our world view shrinks with the onslaught of social media, and even propaganda, this quote resonates with me more than ever. Two of our members in Japan and the UK are leading interesting work on the impact of national culture on how quality management is approached. This is interesting in isolation, but to my mind this leads to a useful exploration of cross-cultural quality.

    It is also reflective of our global presence with 19,500 members spread over 100 countries, working with supply chains that span the globe.

    Vince Desmond, CEO, CQI 

    Understanding how national attitudes and behaviours inform how quality is managed and improved must be helpful. It was good to see the increasing communication, especially between our members in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan. 

    On collaboration 


    “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” Ryūnosuke Akutagawa


    On the one hand, we have shared global challenges for the quality community. In addition to the digital and sustainability topics, the quality community is keen to better educate and inform industry and policymakers on the value of quality management and the quality profession. Attracting new talent into the quality profession is critical to maintain its viability in the face of challenging demographics and attractive new professional disciplines.  

    On the other hand, the global quality community has many players with a quality body in almost every country working on these topics, often in isolation. I have been keen to encourage sharing and collaboration within that community and it is encouraging to see organisations, such as the European Organisation for Quality, the Asian Newtork for Quality and the American Quality Society, coming out of the pandemic with an openness to collaboration. During my trip I was delighted to meet with the Hong Kong Society for Quality and to sign a collaboration agreement with the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers. I look forward to supporting and seeing what comes from all this good intent.  

    Finally, my thanks go to Ian Streeter and the Hong Kong Branch Committee, to Jeff Monk, chair of the Taiwan Branch, and to Masayo Hachii and her team in Japan for supporting my visit. 

    Dedicated teams of CQI volunteers are behind the success of our network of international branches. Our branch activities are ideal opportunities for quality professionals to network, enhance their learning and development, attend seminars, visit local organisations, and share knowledge on topics of interest.  

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