Traditional Change Models and Lean and Six Sigma Implementation

I recently posed the question -- Do traditional change models help or hinder Lean and Six Sigma implementation? -- to Larry Solow and Brenda Fake (authors of What Works for GE May Not Work for You: Using Human Systems Dynamics to Build a Culture of Process Improvement) and I've decided to post their reply here:

"We believe the answer is 'yes!' While we are glad many Lean/Six Sigma leaders and project managers attempt to address organizational change at some level... it is not nearly enough. Change today can no longer depend on a linear six or seven step model that is easy to follow in 'the change plan' or project charter. Those models fail because linear plans fail to address the complexity of the problem itself and the larger systems in which they are embedded.

We as Lean and Six Sigma leaders owe it to ourselves, the projects, the employees, and the customers to look at business improvement change through the lens of complexity. This requires today’s successful Lean/Six Sigma professionals to understand the initial conditions for why a change is needed, and the many moving parts that are impacted by the improvement. It is not enough to analyze the problem in a vacuum. It is critical to be able to see and influence the patterns of the relationships to the business improvement, set the initial conditions, and implement improvements that can adapt to rapid and unpredictable changes in order to sustain themselves beyond the initial implementation."

Feel free to post your thoughts or comments.


George said...

I haven't had a chance to look through this book but I want to ask if the "Systems Dynamics" they are referring to are the Jay Forrester modeling techniques or just a coincidence in terminology.

Brenda said...

George... thanks for the question of clarification. Jay Forresters focused on system modeling and albeit systems dynamics we are focused on complex adaptive systems .. it is a different set of lanquage but both grounded in dynamical interactions. If you would like to compare and contrast feel free to check out Human System Dynamics at www.hsdinstitute.org for more details. Our book What Works for GE May Not Work for You, took the concepts and specifically applied them to process improvement as an just one example of application in the business environment.

Six Sigma Quality said...

SIX SIGMA is a strategy for improving shareholder and customer satisfaction. Having taken the world by storm over the last decade and a half, Six Sigma is both a business philosophy and goal, as well as a comprehensive set of business analytics, tools and methodologies that lead to exponential increases in efficiency, innovation, competitiveness and profitability.

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