Online Orientation: Your Dream Come True or Your Next Nightmare?

Nayism 44: “What do you mean by asking my employees to spend an hour doing online Six Sigma orientation? You must be dreaming if you think I can afford to have them away from their job for that amount of time.”

Will trying to get this naysayer on board be your next nightmare? How should you respond? Here’s what I say . . .

I understand your concern with having employees spend time away from their work station but the training is needed to provide them with a basic understanding of what our company is trying to accomplish through Six Sigma. After learning the basics, these employees may come up with ideas where Six Sigma may help improve their processes. In addition, their understanding and buy-in will help when they are asked to implement improvements resulting from Six Sigma projects. Identifying opportunities and implementing improvements is part of everyone’s job. It is only right that we help them gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful. Please consider providing them with this opportunity to learn. (smile)”

OK. If that doesn’t work, you might see yourself saying this . . . “One hour, one measly hour a year. I can’t believe you are making a freakin’ big deal about having your employees spend one hour a year on something that will help them and the company improve performance. The average employee spends more than one hour in the bathroom in a week if they go three times a day for five minutes. Maybe I should just install an on-line training monitor in the bathroom and train the entire workforce in a week.” At this point you wake up and realize that you could only really say this in your dreams. So you get up, go to work, face your newest nightmare and say (with a smile), “I understand your concern . . .”

Don’t get discouraged. Keep trying different approaches and one may end up being the key to helping this naysayer understand the benefits of getting their employees involved. Remember, it’s often the last key on the ring that opens the lock.

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But just in case, get yourself a dreamcatcher!

Comments 5

  1. Gianna

    Thanks for your comment Mike. I did not mean for my blog to be taken so literally. I was trying to depict the frustration that deployment leaders may face especially when they are trying to accomplish something that is fundamentally good for the organization (i.e. Six Sigma orientation). The real message in this blog is to not give up in the face of resistance and to not get frustrated and angry no matter how difficult the situation. “Trying another key” acknowledges that people respond to different approaches so if one doesn’t work, trying another might make it right. As for the dreamcatcher – I was trying to find a witty way to tell folks to filter their nightmares and look for the positive no matter what. Hope this clears things up a bit. Regards.

  2. Mike Carnell

    One of the most basic concepts to effective change management particularly when you have placed yourself in a position that you need to sell buy-in is that you need to identify “what is in it for them.” If you have done that effectively there should be no need to experience Nayism 45.

    If we follow John Lupienski’s guideline of: “once is random chance, twice is coincidence and three times is a trend.” if you have heard Nayism 45 three times maybe the solution is not a dream catcher but some time with an effective OD person such as Val Larson over at Becton Dickenson.

    Just my opinion

  3. Mike Carnell

    Most of the time when we do a post mortem and get ourselves into a position where we are frustrated it more often than not is our own fault by not planning or not including someone we should have included.

    On the frontend of a deployment we use a stakeholder analysis to identify people related issue. We have followed an old model that says 15% are fast adopters (a problem because they will change anything any time), 35% early adopters, 35% late adopters and 15% OMDB (Over My Dead Body). The OMDB we simply leave behind and the will typically make a decision to catch up or leave. The Stakeholder analysis allows you to chart where people are, where you need them to be and who and how you are going to move them. Planning that on the frontend will avoid most of the frustration.

    Just my opinion.

  4. systhinc

    Joe Juran always said to talk to people in their own language and the language of management is money. If you can quantify the potential savings of of an hour’s training and subtract the cost of the hour, it will be a lot easier than trying to explain the cultural aspects of life, the universe, and everything.

    In the early days of SPC, Datamyte used to tell the customer they could have the system for free if it produced no savings and they would take 10% of the savings instead and let the customer have the system for free if it did work. Even the greatest doubters chose to pay up front, realizing how much 10% of the low hanging fruit would fill a lot of baskets!!

  5. ASHOK

    Based on my experience , I think on-line trianing is highly ineffective to spread the knowldge on Six Sigma , specially if we are expecting the participants to come up with ideas of identifying improvement opportunities.

    Instead 1 hour of Class room session by BB / MBB will help .

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