With “The Discreditor” ranking a strong #5 and “The Busybody” boasting the #4 spot, this week, our countdown of the Six Sigma Most Wanted List of naysayers continues with #3 – “The Egomaniac.”

Mode of Operation (MO): This Naysayer has been improving things for years and has fixed everything there is to fix. They don’t need Six Sigma but are sure that other departments can benefit from it. If, by chance, someone completed a successful project in their area, it was probably something they were going to do anyways.

Probability of existing without being detected: MEDIUM – This naysayer is sometimes hard to spot because they are advocates of Six Sigma for departments other than their own. If they weren’t already sooooo excellent, they would use it too. Look for this naysayer on the sidelines – cheering others on. They have yet to figure out that Six Sigma is not a spectator sport.

Probability of having daily occurring nayisms: MEDIUM – Although they may agree to participate on teams from other departments, their decline to use Six Sigma to improve their own processes sends a constant message of “no habla Six Sigma” throughout the department.

Probability that their nayisms will have negative long-term ramifications: MEDIUM – This naysayer’s mode of self “non-participation” will clearly impact the department in the long run. But since they support other departments using the methodology, they have at least left the door open for employees around them to learn by team participation. Through good team experiences, these team members may propagate a bottom-up movement of their own thereby damping the overall effect from this naysayer.

Overall Threat Level: Strong MEDIUM (Ranked using Gianna’s proprietary naysayer scale)

Actions to Deal with Naysayer #3: Here’s what I say . . . The best weapon to effectively deal with the Egomaniac is time. While this naysayer is wallowing in a sea of complacency, the surrounding departments are learning new tools and new approaches that are improving their overall performance. Relatively speaking, the naysayer is losing ground because without the new skills, they can’t keep up with their peer departments. Pretty soon, this department will become the “bottleneck” or may even become the “defect.” (Sounds like a burning platform for Six Sigma is in the making.)

If you can’t wait them out, try to identify some peer groups or competitors who are also known for their excellent performance and have effectively used Six Sigma to take them to the next level of excellence. This may help re-shape Six Sigma as a method for “raising the bar” rather than fixing a problem which may have more appeal to the Egomaniac.

Join me again next week asthe #2 spot on the Six Sigma Most Wanted List of naysayers is unveiled.

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