Nayism 41: “Six Sigma” is not for us. We’re past all the buzz words and latest fads.

For various and sometimes unknown reasons, people shy away from Six Sigma because of the name. In fact, Six Sigma has become so popular that it could be the hype surrounding the name that turns them off. So how do you get past the “name-calling” and start focusing on the journey forward? Here’s what I say . . .

First you must acknowledge that the emotional barrier resulting from the name “Six Sigma” is real. Trying to overcome this barrier may take more time and effort than it is worth. So what have some companies done? They have named their initiative something else. By calling their approach “Continuous Process Improvement.” “Business Excellence” or “Quality Quest,” they have been able to overcome the initial resistance that may have been linked to the name “Six Sigma.” Some companies have gone as far as re-naming their Black Belts and Green Belts “Process Experts” or “Quality Specialists.” (If any of you are doing this, please post a comment with your initiative’s name. It might be helpful to folks who are wrestling with the same issue.)

Identifying and removing barriers to success is an integral part of any successful deployment. Don’t let “name-calling” get in the way. After all, a rose by any other name is still a rose!

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