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Six Sigma Culture And Personality

Dec 3, 2007
Successful Six Sigma Implementation Involves:

- Heavy investment in training for the black belt.

- Recognizing human-related issues

- Keeping an eye out for the next breakthrough, beyond measurement and training issues.

- Acknowledging that to achieve success, the whole organizational structure may need to be changed.

If you pay attention to the last point, then you will realize that understanding the organizational culture of a company is very important. So let us understand organizational culture and the models through which we can analyze the culture change that is needed to benefit from Six Sigma.

Six Sigma And Organizational Culture

What is culture? Can we find a definition that will help in measuring the culture of a company for continuous improvement initiative? Can we find a common language that will prove effective when we will set upon the task of achieving a complete cultural change across departments and divisions?

Organizational culture can be defined as a set of attitudes, values and beliefs that are enacted on a daily basis within the organization. In layman's words, it is how business is conducted in a company. Organizational structure can be further viewed in two ways:

The External View

This view tells us that culture comes from many external factors and roots and is more or less unchangeable. Different beliefs are brought into the workplace by all employees and are eventually passed on in time. This knowledge and the beliefs, along with the values, behavior and routine followed that an employee encounters on joining the company and which they continue to learn throughout their tenure with the company, remains etched in their memory and becomes a part of the working culture.

All the business personnel who share this view are of the opinion that culture can be changed only over long periods of time. And if a change is absolutely necessary, then for the short term, the business would do better by seeking to modify people's behavior, rather than the organization as a whole. In other words, since the culture was developed through so many external factors and passed down over the years, changes in the overall organizational culture will not be possible.

The Internal Behavioral View

The internal behavior view is the exact opposite of the external view. It holds that an organization's culture is nothing but the behavior of company employees. The business personnel who share this opinion believe that since the culture is made up of individual behavior, it can easily adapt to change. Usually business executives find this view very favorable.

Comprehending people's behavior is essential because irrespective of whatever view we take, we have to take appropriate action for implementing the strategy.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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