Last week “The Discreditor” took the #5 spot on the Six Sigma Most Wanted list of naysayers. This week, our countdown continues with # 4 – “The Busybody.”

Mode of Operation (MO): Much too busy to be bothered with Six Sigma. Everyone is already working overtime just to handle the daily workload (which is probably crammed full of rework, bottlenecks and answering customer complaints). They just can’t take on one more thing! (Whew – I’m getting exhausted just writing about it).

Probability of existing without being detected: LOW – Everybody knows that this naysayer is too busy for Six Sigma because the naysayer is constantly telling everyone. Although the naysayer may not openly discredit the Six Sigma approach, the lack of participation in training, teams or anything related to Six Sigma sends a clear signal that they do not believe Six Sigma can be beneficial to their business.

Probability of having daily occurring nayisms: MEDIUM – They are so busy that they couldn’t possibly come up with a nayism every day but their decline to participate on teams, training, etc. is happening on a daily basis and so the message continues to be sent at regular intervals.

Probability that their nayisms will have negative long-term ramifications: HIGH – Even though this naysayer is not outwardly attacking Six Sigma, their mode of “non-participation” will clearly impact the department in the long run. The inability to find time for employees to at least learn about the methodology stifles any hope that a bottom up movement would emerge. The constant frustration of broken processes and long hours also makes it difficult for anyone to muster up the energy to learn about Six Sigma on their own much less try to engage in a team.

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

Actions to Deal with Naysayer #4: Here’s what I say . . . There is definitely an opportunity to convert “The Busybody” but you must find an approach that will spark interest and address the WIFM (What’s in it for me). Here’s a couple to try:

  • Communicate examples of where other “busy” departments have used Six Sigma to reduce their workload. Make sure these other “busy” departments get lots of recognition for their accomplishment.
  • Gather data and do some high-level analysis to identify pockets of defects, bottlenecks, etc. that if addressed, will increase productivity. Show examples of how this worked in another department to add credibility to your approach.
  • See if you can obtain a Black Belt resource from another department to address a problem area and ask if the “much too busy” department is willing to provide ‘ad-hoc’ team membership (to minimize production impact).
  • Offer to deliver some “lunch and learn” sessions (no impact on production) where you can help employees understand how Six Sigma can positively impact them. Use the opportunity to market Six Sigma benefits and get some input for areas where Six Sigma can be applied.

Basically, look for any opportunity to get your foot in the door because behind it lays a huge success story just waiting to happen!

Tune in next week to find out who holds the #3 spot on the Six Sigma Most Wanted List!

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