While small businesses don’t generate the same volume of products and services or have the same level of organizational complexity as big corporations, evaluating and improving processes is critical for success.
Systems and processes that help a business run like a well-oiled machine is the premise of the management technique Six Sigma. And by keeping some of its fundamental concepts top of mind, you can help ensure your company runs smoothly and profitably.
Arguably, the biggest benefit Six Sigma brings to the organizations that practice it is the way it converts employees from passive participants who often notice problems to active participants who possess the drive to solve them.
Those with Six Sigma certification are cultured to see themselves and the work they do differently than traditional employees. They’re taught to:
- See work in terms of process flow, and not just departments and functions
- Take an active role in defining improvements and identifying solutions, instead of relying on management
- Utilize the appropriate skills to create and implement solutions
- Actively involve themselves in continuous improvement efforts
Why Culture Is Important
Once Six Sigma training has been instilled in employees and the transformation is complete, organizations need a company culture that sustains these attributes and prevents employees from reverting to their old behavior and mindset.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
This quote, attributed to renowned management consultant Peter Drucker, is especially true for Six Sigma. Without a company culture that supports Six Sigma methodology, employees are prone to gradually surrender the power they have acquired through Six Sigma training and return to their old behaviors of problem-solving. A strategy of continuous improvement based on Six Sigma methodology that is not supported by a Six Sigma culture has a much greater chance to fail.