Hard Core Naysayers

Benchmarking results consistently identify examples of Six Sigma success. Even so, getting “naysayers” on board is a continuous challenge. What do you tell them?

Nayism 17: “You can say that Six Sigma improved production but we were going to make those changes anyway.”

If you hear this, then you’re probably dealing with a “Hard Core Naysayer.” These naysayers are labeled “Hard Core” because even after many successful Six Sigma projects, with measurable and validated improvement and financial contribution, these folks still continue to refuse to acknowledge the goodness that Six Sigma brings to their organization. Sounds like the prognosis for these naysayersis hopeless but the only hopeless case is the one that we give up on. So, here’s what I say . . .

“Dear Mr. Naysayer, Your point is interesting. Let’s take a look at your performance improvement record before and after the introduction of Six Sigma. By applying our Six Sigma tools, we can statistically validate if the rate of improvement since we’ve been using Six Sigma is better that the rate of improvement before Six Sigma methods were applied. Let’s go get the data. Oh, I see, You don’t have any data or measurements before Six Sigma was deployed. Well then, it’s great that at least Six Sigma has provided you with a good way to measure your success.”

Make your point, but in the end, try to find something that the “Hard Core Naysayer” is willing to acknowledge as a positive contribution from Six Sigma. Any positive acknowledgement should be considered a success. Keep in mind that “Hard Core Nayism” is hard to treat. Periodic shots of Six Sigma success may be the only way to try to relieve the symptoms until a real cure can be found.

Comments 2

  1. falser

    Hallo Gianna, yours is a very good approach. As a consultant I very often find another way of nay-saying: ” We think that Six Sigma is really excellent, but we have soooo many projects underway, that we could not imagine to add an initiative like Six Sigma on top. But we think in a year’s time, we should reconsider.”

    How to go about that one?

    Kind regards, Helmut.

  2. Gianna


    Thanks for your comment. See my blog dated April 7, 2006. This is one approach when someone says that they are too busy to deploy Six Sigma.

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