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Quality Management Journal

ISSN: 1068-6967 (Print) 2575-6222 (Online) Journal homepage:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Nicole M. Radziwill

To cite this article: Nicole M. Radziwill (2018) The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Quality
Management Journal, 25:2, 108-109, DOI: 10.1080/10686967.2018.1436355

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Published online: 06 Apr 2018.

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2018, VOL. 25, NO. 2, 108–110


Simple Excellence: Organizing and Aligning the Management Team in a Lean Transformation. Adam Zak and Bill
Waddell. 2011. New York: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. 141 pages.

After 25 years embedded in the manufacturing environ- There are hundreds of value-packed passages throughout
ment, authors Adam Zak and Bill Waddell noticed that this book; here are a few. There is no such thing as customer
most of the literature about launching and sustaining lean profitability – only a business can be profitable, even if its cus-
principles was written for engineering managers, product tomers contribute incrementally to the ability of the business to
managers, and accountants. But they accurately recognize meet its financial requirements. Goodwill is the only enduring
that lean transformation is a craft that requires broad capability any business has. The fragility of the supply chain
involvement across the organization – “there is no cookie- should be a factor in how people select and evaluate partners –
cutter method of improvement … [but] there are some awareness is essential. Examine differences in how customers
common management principles.” This book was written define and perceive value. The role of the purchasing function
to capture those principles, while serving the needs of every- is to build relationships over the long term.
one else involved in lean transformation, including sales and I’ve read hundreds of management books over the past
marketing staff, human resources personnel, and informa- two decades, and rarely do I find one as concise and com-
tion technology staff. pelling as this contribution by Zak and Waddell. It is an
This book is organized into two sections: “Thinking easy and comfortable read, and can be pleasantly digested
Differently” and “Managing Differently,” with topics in one sitting or many. If readers are looking for some
ranging from cost accounting to value streams and stra- inspiration to help them understand and internalize how
tegic investments, presented in 20 short chapters. The their organization can eliminate non-value-adding activi-
main message is that people should work to align them- ties, or for a book that they can share with the organization
selves by how they create value. The key, the authors to help everyone achieve this goal, this is a fantastic, no-
say, “is to eliminate all of the noise, waste, and clutter nonsense resource with lasting value.
and to align the business on the commonsense, funda- Reviewed by
mental issues that determine success” rather than defin- Nicole M. Radziwill
ing success from limited disciplinary perspectives. This
broader view of what constitutes waste provides the © 2018 American Society for Quality
foundation for unique perspectives later in the book
that will be valuable for managers of all experience

The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Klaus Schwab. 2016. World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland. 184 pages.

This tiny volume should be considered the world’s best syn- and biological “megatrends” and tipping points, which are
opsis of the profound changes that are impacting many news events that, when they occur, will indicate that a par-
industries due to the introduction of inexpensive and pro- ticular outcome from a megatrend is reaching critical mass.
lific sensors, actuators, and network connectivity. It is “a Physical megatrends include autonomous vehicles, 3-D
crowd-sourced book, the product of the collective enlight- printing and additive manufacturing, advanced robotics,
ened wisdom of the [World Economic] forum’s communi- and new materials. Digital megatrends are represented by
ties.” The book has three goals: 1) increase awareness of the the Internet of Things (IoT), cryptocurrencies, new ways to
speed and scope of the technological changes taking place encapsulate value, and new platforms for innovation. Bio-
right now; 2) create a framework for thinking about and logical megatrends, such as CRISPR for gene editing and
responding to them; and 3) create a platform to support data storage, are also positioned to catalyze innovations.
partnerships and cooperation in these new innovative areas. Each of these areas is examined in terms of social, eco-
Although concise, the book easily achieves all three nomic, and business impacts, with attention to interna-
goals. It starts by explaining the historical backdrop of the tional security and personal privacy.
current technological revolution and frames it in terms of The bulk of the book is 23 vignettes, each describing a
wealth, platforms, and inequality. Next, the author covers “Deep Shift” – ranging from implantable technology, to the
the drivers for this revolution in terms of physical, digital, connected home and smart cities, to “designer beings” and

“neurotechnologies” for improving health, wellness, and Reviewed by

physical/cognitive performance. Although many of these Nicole M. Radziwill
may sound futuristic, the book explains how most of them
are grounded in already available technologies. © 2018 American Society for Quality
For a quick and to-the-point introduction to the vast
landscape of Industry 4.0, this book (as of yet) is unparal-
leled. It will help readers anticipate and identify upcoming
shifts that could impact their business.

Cybersecurity Leadership. Mansur Hasib. 2014. Tomorrow’s Strategy Today LLC. 171 pages.

Particularly in production and critical infrastructure envi- half cover topics that are perhaps only topically related to
ronments, attention to cybersecurity must be incorporated the book’s title, such as collaboration tools, recruiting the
into quality and risk management efforts because attacks best team members, gamification, video conferencing solu-
can result not only in diminished quality of outputs, but tions, and electronic health records. The author did explain
also in damage to expensive physical assets. Quality manag- in the preface that the book is about both cybersecurity and
ers are typically not familiar with principles of cybersecurity leadership; however, the dilution of emphasis from the
– or how to manage it or incorporate it into quality man- beginning to the end is definitely a weakness.
agement efforts. This book provides insight into some first For a simple introduction to cybersecurity from the
principles that can be applied to start closing the gap. executive perspective, this book may suffice. For exam-
Structured as a collection of 49 short essays, Hasib aims ple, the “Risk Management and Compliance” chapter
to provide “a business level understanding of cybersecurity outlines 10 areas that should be addressed in any cyber-
and … how to lead cybersecurity in any organization,” security management approach. These are roughly con-
while also addressing general leadership topics. The book sistent with guidance provided by the National Institute
uniformly covers technical and administrative aspects of of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Center
cybersecurity, and is accessible to managers with no techni- for Internet Security (CIS), but covered in much less
cal background. For example, on p. 71, Hasib writes that detail.
“an organizational cybersecurity program requires three Reviewed by
types of controls: technology, policy, and people controls – Nicole M. Radziwill
which must be managed, monitored, and improved over
time.” The policy and people aspects receive more coverage © 2018 American Society for Quality
than the technical.
There are two drawbacks to this book: it is short, and it
is not solely focused on cybersecurity. Essays in the second

Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon. 2014. Kim Zetter. New York:
Broadway Books. 296 pages.

If one asks any quality professional to describe a typical wastewater management, transportation, healthcare) is that
cyberattack, the answer will probably include one or more cyberattacks can result in physical damage to expensive
of the following: stolen personal information, loss of pri- capital assets, which can directly and immediately impact
vacy, identity theft, or maybe even loss of corporate infor- product quality.
mation and trade secrets. But the greater risk – in Zetter’s detailed, intricate book provides a comprehen-
traditional production environments as well as critical sive tour of one of the most famous cyberattacks in history:
infrastructure (for example, energy production, water and the Stuxnet worm, which targeted the industrial control