All entries for Sunday 24 January 2010
January 24, 2010
In this competitive era, where all businesses want to be among the best both in terms of cost and quality are struggling hard to identify ways to improve their processes. Constantly challenged with downward price pressure and increased quality Six Sigma is one of the methods to improve quality and reduce cost. Six Sigma intends to achieve 99.99% precision by attaining 3.4 defect parts per million. These days it has not just remained a tool to reduce variability but it helps to align the business processes by engaging management at all levels. Using DMAIC model it helps to identify the customer needs and perception first, and then measure how far the process is in control in respect of the customer requirement, followed by analysing the reason for non-compliance, then looking for improvement options available which is best suited and then try and maintain the process. It requires involvement of people at all levels. Six-Sigma takes into account the individual projects focused at improving one part of the organisation at one time. External master black belts and back belts come into the organisation to implement the various projects and for supervision. Six-Sigma has its origin in Motorola where it leads to huge business improvements. In order to implement Six-Sigma it is important that the company has taken some qualitative initiatives beforehand which make its implementation easier. Application of Six Sigma leads to huge benefits and leads to organisation with best in class products; however its implementation incurs huge costs, so companies whose main issue is quality should only implement it. For instance sectors like IT where main issue is speed, implementing Six Sigma is not worth. The workforce of the organisation are often ignored while its application which sometimes leads to its failure. People in the organisation get de-motivated while seeing other people taking over the processes. They feel they have lost the power and since they play an important part, so when they are ignored it leads to failure of Six-Sigma project. People generally resist change because it involves them to come out of their comfort zone, they often don’t understand the potential benefits of its implementation.
While studying leadership, I came across four types of leadership styles: Autocratic, Democratic, Laissez Faire and Charismatic leadership. Autocratic leadership is where people are told what they are supposed to do without taking into consideration their suggestions, opinions or views. Democratic Leadership is where it demands everyone in the organisation to be creative, perform as a team, solve complex problems, improve quality and provide outstanding customer service. The style presents a happy medium between over controlling and not being engaged and tends to be seen in organisations that must innovate to prosper. Laissez Faire Leadership is where the leader leaves everything to their subordinates; everything from planning to execution is done by the people. Leader has the least say in making the decisions. Here people should be highly qualified, skilled and trained in order to make decisions on their own. Charismatic Leadership is where the leader is highly appealing to the people and can influence them easily towards it. It is crucial to understand the different types of leadership styles and in what situation it is best suited. You cannot say which is better and which is not so good. Each style works in different situations. For Instance, If you are in a boat which is going to get drowned in one hour, in that case you need someone who is straight forward and can make decisions faster, i.e. someone who is autocratic. Here people want to be led by someone who is more trustable and who make quicker decisions.
It is important, when in an organisation a leader interacts with as many people as possible to understand how people perceives different things. There can be different types of people in the organisation which can be broadly categorised into four groups, walking dead, urban terrorists, fans and the stars. A leader must try and see who is good at what and accordingly should assign responsibilities to get an effective outcome. Motivation is the key that aspires people to convert from various groups to stars. Many a times it happens that leader is aware of all the problems and what exactly are going on in the organisation. It is important that the leader is able to deliver what the organisation wants from its people and that people don’t work without knowing what they are working for or what their ultimate goal is.