Quality Circles LO29870

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 01/30/03

Replying to LO29862 --

Dear Organlearners,

Linda Ortberg < Sinte@aol.com > writes:

>I don't often post to the list, but I do read it and appreciate
>many of the topics discussed here. Quality is my passion
>and I teach it at a local community college as well as consult.
>I would be interested to here opinion from this distinquished
>list about the "Six Sigma" approach.
>I look forward to hearing responses from those interested in this topic.

Greetings dear Linda,

Thank you for your reply adding to what is now become a LO dialogue on

For the interest of fellow learners:-

Mikel J. Harry at Motorola developed Six Sigma quality program for it.
After it was published in 1987 it gained publicity when Motorola won the
Malcolm Baldrige quality prize. Six sigma is a statistical methodology for
improving quality in corporate organisations. Since it is also propriety,
it costs money to implement. The "six" designates various systemic facets
of an organisation from its input, inside and output. The "sigma"
signifies that it is a metric methodoly based on statistical analysis. The
objective is to reduce deviation (and thus a possible source of errors) in
each of the systemic facets. It has definitely improved the quality
control of tangible facets of organisations.

I do want to go deeper into Six Sigma now. I rather want to place it in a
wider perspective. Firstly, since many well know corporations have used it
with success, it has become somewhat of a cult ("treasure map"). How often
have i not read that Six Sigma consultants claim that organisations "must"
buy in on Six Sigma to have success.

This emphasis on quality serves organisations which produce inanimate
products well. However, quality is one of the two main features of one of
the 7Es (seven essentialities of creativity. It is the essentiality
otherness ("quality-diversity"). With too much emphasis on "quality",
"diversity" as the other main feature of otherness may get neglected. This
is almost a sure recipe for organisations in which autopoiesis
(self-making) plays a major role. A typical example is bringing out a new
product line for a market nich not yet exploited by competitors in the
industry. It is a case of self making. Just think of the IBM / Microsoft
saga and MS DOS for personal computers.

Such a negligence is very real. A search with Google's advance search
engine with
  six sigma
in the second window, gives 174 000 hits. Adding in the first window
gives a mere 5 230 hits.

Even worse is to focus so much on quality that one or more of the other
six 7Es become neglected. When in the above experiment the
is replaced by for example
a mere 44 hits are obtained! Wholeness as such is needed for any major
transformation which involves all divisions of the organisation. It includes
the transformation of that organisation into a LO. Thus too much emphasis
on quality progams like Six Sigma and the ISO standards may actually
hinder the emergence of organisations into LOs.

>[Host's Note: Linda, good to hear from you again! To
>everyone, there is no need to post msgs or to post regularly.
>I would much prefer that you write when moved to do so.
>I'm sure it will be more interesting that way!
> ..Rick]

In my case i am moved by almost every conribution of a fellow learner ;-)

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@postino.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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