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Six Stigma, the epitaph?

September 3, 2007

In his penultimate guest blog, Michael pointed to an excellent article. I recomend both blog and article, this quote gives you a sense of what it is about:

200px-ModerntimesA recent study from QualPro, a consulting firm that advocates an alternative quality process, points out that 53 of 58 large companies that use Six Sigma have trailed the S&P 500 ever since they implemented it. As if on cue, once-mighty proponents of the program have begun to scale back their involvement, if not abandon it outright. Two of the most recent dropouts: 3M and Home Depot. In fact, Robert Nardelli, the former CEO of Home Depot, was forced out in part because his Six Sigma program was blamed for plummeting customer satisfaction and employee morale. At 3M, management is rolling back many Six Sigma initiatives: The program, it decided, was not compatible with the spirit of innovation that had once made 3M great. Invention is an inherently risky, wasteful and chaotic process—exactly the sort of stuff Six Sigma seeks to eliminate

How many companies, but more importantly individuals, will suffer before leaders realise that efficiency is not the same thing as effectiveness, and that people are not widgets in the re-engineers machine? We were warned in 1936 after all.

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