The top 4 critical roles for tomorrow’s Quality Leaders

Quality professionals face more challenges and pressure than ever before. With fluctuating world economics and geopolitics, the increasing regulatory landscape, changing supply chains, and customer demands, the role of quality professionals is dramatically evolving into a quality leader. And quality leaders have never been more important in today's organizations. What does it take to develop into a quality leader and what skillsets are required for tomorrow's demands?

The expanding roles of a Quality Leader

Common across industries, quality professionals are often responsible for the quality management system, quality assurance, and processes. Your daily tasks include customer and regulatory requirements and cost-effective operational excellence. In addition, focusing on risk management and continuous improvement is crucial.

However, besides these overall responsibilities, developing as a quality leader requires preparing for tomorrow’ s challenges and expanding your role into not one but several adjacent roles. Our recent survey about the future of management systems indicates how quality will be structured differently in the near future to tackle issues such as increasing regulations, securing information, or leveraging new technologies. These critical roles are essential to effectively prepare for these challenges and equip your future management system. Read also about Top 3 challenges for tomorrows quality leaders

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Strategic thinker: visionary and realist

Understanding and aligning the organization’s strategic goals and business objectives with quality is the key focus of this role. Not only do you have to stay ahead of market trends and the needs of your organization, but you also have to ensure that your quality management system contributes directly to the business vision and operation plans. Skills required for this role include:

  • Forecasting and visioning
  • Strategic planning
  • Resource allocation

Problem solver and improvement driver: analytical thinker

Identifying, analyzing, and solving quality issues and nurturing your organization’s continuous improvement culture are key skills for this role. Applying data-driven approaches and decisions helps validate and monitor performance. Other skills vital for this role are:

  • Diagnosis and analysis
  • Solution development
  • Performance measurement

Change agent: influencer and cultural champion

In this role, quality leaders motivate, influence, and foster a company culture of improvement, all working towards quality. It’s a demanding role where resistance to change might flare up, and “soft” and social skills such as negotiation and networking are valuable. It’s good to develop skills such as:

  • Cultural leadership
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Change implementation

Compliance specialist: well-versed expert

At CANEA, we expect regulations to increase in complexity in the coming years, making it difficult to adhere to standards in a global market. It’s a balancing act of meeting and exceeding internal and external standards while nurturing innovation within your organization. Essential skills to develop include:

  • Regulatory expertise
  • System design and audit
  • Risk management

 Combined with responsibilities, skill sets, experience and the ability to balance multifaceted roles, quality leaders undoubtedly have a wider role to play. You must be able to adapt quickly. Do these roles look familiar? To develop resilient future quality leaders, we are introducing a series of articles exploring these roles and the challenges you may face. Join us on this journey and learn more about CANEA