During the period extending from 1985 to 1995, many executives in the United States said the same thing about Six Sigma – its just a fad and will “blow over” in a couple of years. Well, its still alive and growing – even in Europe and Asia. My personal take on this subject is quite simple – anything that can produce cash will always be in vogue, at least until a “better mousetrap” is conceived and proven.
What initiatives are underway in Europe? Of those initiatives, how many have decisively produced large sums of money like Six Sigma? Why did it take so long for the United States to embody the teachings of Dr. Deming? Given that Six Sigma was injected into the Motorola culture in 1985, why did it take nearly ten years before its capability was recognized by the “corporate mainstream”? The reason is simple – change is evolutionary, but often not voluntary.
Even beneficial change is sometimes resisted – rationally or otherwise.