Nayism 36: “Six Sigma won’t work because. . .”

As we approach Thanksgiving it is only fitting that we reflect on the things that we are thankful for. Believe it or not, I am thankful for Six Sigma naysayers. Yes – those stodgy, old school, dig in their heels, change resistant individuals who lurk the halls of every Six Sigma deployment and whose every sentence begins with “Six Sigma won’t work because . . .” So why (besides the fact that it is Thanksgiving) should we be thankful for naysayers? Here’s what I say . . .

Besides ‘gobbling’ up 80% of your time and providing fodder for 35 nayism blogs, naysayers serve another key purpose. Every time a naysayer speaks up, it makes us re-examine our conviction in Six Sigma. We should always ask ourselves, could there be a basis for the naysayer’s statement or is it just a bunch of jabberwocky? A poised Six Sigma practitioner will take the opportunity to research and gather facts and develop a better understanding of the naysayer’s concern. If a basis for the statement exists, it creates an opportunity to take action to reduce the probability of occurrence and/or reduce the consequences (a FMEA in the making). These actions can only serve to strengthen the probability for Six Sigma success – something we should be thankful for.

So the next time your local naysayer blurts out their nayism, tell them “Thanks” because it is through these daily challenges that our own understanding and resolve in the Six Sigma methodology is strengthened.

Happy Thanksgiving!

About the Author