Monday, July 18, 2005

Six Sigma Conference & Whose your Daddy --> CEO?


Thinking back over the past 20 years up until 2003 I have attended between 40 – 50 quality types seminars/conferences (does not include training). Most of the time it was for learning but a major objective was to review the materials, company, instructors, and determine if there is anything new that could benefit the company.

When I got started in the quality movement back in 1980 Quality Circles was the big thing in the Untied States. Quality Circles started in Japan around 1960, my first introduction was from Japanese students studying at Michigan State University who suggested I read Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa’s book “Guide To Quality Control.”

As with most of the quality programs that have come and gone American Leadership & Management expected the worker to learn and improve their work because Management already knows the answers and this type of work should be delegated. Oh sure, everyone can provide me with stories of how different it is at their company. The plain fact is Management uses these types of programs as an easy way out, and they learn the catchwords and phrases so they can communicate to customers and suppliers that they know what is happening.

You see the underlying belief of many management people are the workers are responsible for most of the problems facing companies yesterday, today and will still be at fault tomorrow. The simple truth Management is responsible, always has been and always will as long as they continue to bow down to short-term quarterly results (one among other reasons).

So it was no surprise to me as I read last week the highlights of the International Six Sigma Conference held June 29, 2005. Many quality leaders and some executives from major companies attended and gave speeches. As I continued to read most of them gave the same speeches that I heard from their predecessors through ought the 80s and 90s.

The point is not the fact that the customer is number one and all we do is for the customer (this can not be said enough), the fact is Six Sigma like its predecessors say basically the same thing but Six Sigma Pontificators spend more time trying to convince you they are better and different because they focus more on the dollar.

There is some truth to the dollar fact, the reason being consultants are smart enough to know that the only way they can enter an executive door is to promise bottom line results in $$$$. The key words are bottom line, results and dollars. The problem with American Management style is concentration on bottom line, short-term results and dollars.

The following are some points made in the speeches by leaders of major companies that defined Six Sigma (I’m not naming people or specific companies because they are not alone):

  • To improve the relationship with the customer
  • Owning the customer pain point
  • There is a specific issue with the customer that needs to be addressed
  • Data determines the price/value solution
  • Building in executive contacts is key
  • There is an advantage in speaking a common language with customers
  • Make improvements all along the Value Stream
  • Develop a supportive, not a punitive approach

    And qualityg’s favorite “The impact Six Sigma at the customer can have on shareholder value ---> customer focus created customer success, customer success drives growth and growth creates shareholder value.”

    All at the expense of the worker, their families and the communities they live. Growth is supposed to also drive production, reinvest dividends (see below on dividends) back into the company for research, innovation, new products, educate workforce, create and capture new market share and above all create new jobs. This is not happening and you can see why by the words that are spoken by executives at meetings, on the news, taught in business schools and what is displayed on today’s television as a successful executive.

    click pic to enlarge

Hey, I’m not against making money and I know that is why a company is in business, but the means that today’s corporate executives are making money is also resulting in the demise of the American Standard of Living and they don’t care as long as they “think” they are getting their share. Even GE the big proponent of Six Sigma says, “Six Sigma is about completely satisfying customer needs profitably.” THE “METHOD” COMPANIES ARE GOING ABOUT TO DO THIS IS THE PROBLEM AND AMERICAN CORPORATE EXECUTIVES (and charlatan consultants) ARE AT FAULT!!!

This leads me to my second heading.


The answer; they report to their own pocketbooks. They want ‘quick” profits and higher stock prices all at the expense of dividends and employees.

You see dividends benefit the company as well as shareholders for long-term growth so that investments and the company can grow for 10, 15, 30 years. Skeptics (management whores) will say qualityg is all wrong and living in the past. AT&T was a model company for their first 100 hundred years, most widely held stock, best dividends, 1million plus employees, the best communication company in the world. What happened, two things, government intervention and corporate greed and ignorance?

CEOs don’t want dividends, they want the cash to buy back stock to control the price until they wish to cash in and then walk away or get fired for destroying the company, and they win either way.

The only way to stop this is for shareholders and employees to challenge CEOs at investor and board meetings. Sitting back and doing nothing, hoping that your management team has your best interest at heart is simply foolish.


Anonymous said...

Is Six Sigma Dead?


qualityg says said...

Six Sigma is a point in the evolution of quality. No more, No less.