Six Sigma and Motorola #lean-six-sigma


Valdis Krebs <valdis@...>
 

Any Six Sigma experts out there?

Can you explain why one of the shining icons of Six Sigma, Motorola, is now circling the drain?

What happened?

Valdis Krebs
valdis@orgnet.com
http://www.orgnet.com
http://www.networkweaving.com/blog


David Snowden <snowded@...>
 

Worth reading up on the way 3M took sick stigma out of their R&D function .....



Dave Snowden
Founder & Chief Scientific Officer
Cognitive Edge Pte Ltd

Now blogging at www.cognitive-edge.com


On 10 Apr 2008, at 16:42, Valdis Krebs wrote:

Any Six Sigma experts out there?

Can you explain why one of the shining icons of Six Sigma, Motorola, 
is now circling the drain?

What happened?

Valdis Krebs
valdis@orgnet.com
http://www.orgnet.com
http://www.networkweaving.com/blog



Valdis Krebs <valdis@...>
 

Got Link?

On Apr 10, 2008, at 11:48 AM, David Snowden wrote:
Worth reading up on the way 3M took sick stigma out of their R&D function .....

Dave Snowden
Founder & Chief Scientific Officer
Cognitive Edge Pte Ltd


David Snowden <snowded@...>
 

You haven't read the blog - shame on you

has the link



Dave Snowden
Founder & Chief Scientific Officer
Cognitive Edge Pte Ltd

Now blogging at www.cognitive-edge.com


On 10 Apr 2008, at 16:53, Valdis Krebs wrote:

Got Link?

On Apr 10, 2008, at 11:48 AM, David Snowden wrote:
> Worth reading up on the way 3M took sick stigma out of their R&D 
> function .....
>
> Dave Snowden
> Founder & Chief Scientific Officer
> Cognitive Edge Pte Ltd



Steve Denning
 


Kaplan, Bill <bill.kaplan@...>
 

Here is a question and some thoughts to add to this conversation if you don’t mind:

 

Do our traditional “corporate” support structure(s) and operational flows support the movement of knowledge (information and experience) for achieving corporate objectives?  Does it require workarounds?

 

Some thoughts on collaboration with respect to the previous entry in this discussion on why collaborate:

 

Collaboration is a WIIFM activity; people participate if it:

·      is advantageous

·      has value

·      supports goal achievement for both parties

·      parties have shared mission or organizational values

·      relates past experience with successful collaborations

·      quid pro quos

o   it’s about relationships and it’s a work behavior

o   learned behavior

o   rewards for success

·      Collaboration is a means to an end, not an end in itself; always view collaboration as a means, not an end.

·      Collaboration is not a success unless you take the time to learn from it. 

·      Collaboration should lead to an organization learning lessons continuously, not documenting lessons learned

·      If the task or project is truly difficult, you likely can’t do it by yourself.  You can gain value from the conversation with those who know how to help identify areas to explore, challenges to address, questions to ask, etc.--> Goal is to get you to think differently about the challenge(s) ahead.

 

best

 

Bill

 

 

William S. Kaplan, CPCM

Chief Knowledge Officer

Acquisition Solutions, Inc.

 

(w) 703.253.6313

(c)  571.238.9878

 

"Knowledge at Work"

 

The information contained in this message may be privileged, confidential, and protected from disclosure. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by replying to this message, and then delete it from your computer.

 

 

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Stephen Denning
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2008 12:46
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Six Sigma and Motorola

 

Valdis

 

It takes a number of things to kill a great company. Six Sigma may be part of it. Leadership is another. Having the wrong products, or the right products at the wrong time, is yet another. And then there's the degree of collaboration in the firm.

 

When I did some work with Motorola a while back, I was struck by the managerial commitment to intra-mural competition. At the time, I wondered how this could possibly be the basis for an agile knowledge-sharing, learning, innovative organization. I haven't been back there since and so I don't really know what's been going on there recently, but this might be one facet to examine.

 

It calls to mind a recent book, The Social Atom by Mark Buchanan. It's a slim, well-written book, which is always a plus for me. And it's one of the best short diagnoses I've read of what's fundamentally wrong with traditional economics. It also deals with the basic issues of group vs. individual, and cooperation vs. competition. It explains how evolutionary processes can explain something that seems incompatible with Darwin: why do people collaborate, when collaboration is against their self-interest?

 

Fundamentally, collaboration is irrational. Attempts by economists to rationalize collaboration as indirect self-interest don't really work: there are many phenomena that can't be explained away like this. So why do people collaborate, against their self-interest? Why do some organizations while others die? What's the underlying dynamic?The book suggests that the strength of the collaborative culture is one of the key determinants of long-term organizational survival. It may not explain the demise of any individual organization. But viewing numbers of organizations over time, organizations with hard-working collaborative cultures will tend to win out over organizations marked by internal competition.

 

The hypothesis is that at the center of the modern firm, it is the same precious resource of energized collaboration than enabled our hunter-gatherer ancestors to survive, one hundred thousand years ago.
 
Steve Denning
Register now for the Smithsonian weekend on Innovation and Storytelling on
May 8-10, 2008 in Washington DC at

http://stevedenning.com/Conferences/SmithsonianMay08.htm
steve@...
Telephone (US) 202 966 9392
Fax (US) 202 686 0591
Skype: stevedenning1


Steve Denning
 
Edited

Valdis

 

It takes a number of things to kill a great company. Six Sigma may be part of it. Leadership is another. Having the wrong products, or the right products at the wrong time, is yet another. And then there's the degree of collaboration in the firm.

 

When I did some work with Motorola a while back, I was struck by the managerial commitment to intra-mural competition. At the time, I wondered how this could possibly be the basis for an agile knowledge-sharing, learning, innovative organization. I haven't been back there since and so I don't really know what's been going on there recently, but this might be one facet to examine.

 

It calls to mind a recent book, The Social Atom by Mark Buchanan. It's a slim, well-written book, which is always a plus for me. And it's one of the best short diagnoses I've read of what's fundamentally wrong with traditional economics. It also deals with the basic issues of group vs. individual, and cooperation vs. competition. It explains how evolutionary processes can explain something that seems incompatible with Darwin: why do people collaborate, when collaboration is against their self-interest?

 

Fundamentally, collaboration is irrational. Attempts by economists to rationalize collaboration as indirect self-interest don't really work: there are many phenomena that can't be explained away like this. So why do people collaborate, against their self-interest? Why do some organizations while others die? What's the underlying dynamic?The book suggests that the strength of the collaborative culture is one of the key determinants of long-term organizational survival. It may not explain the demise of any individual organization. But viewing numbers of organizations over time, organizations with hard-working collaborative cultures will tend to win out over organizations marked by internal competition.

 

The hypothesis is that at the center of the modern firm, it is the same precious resource of energized collaboration than enabled our hunter-gatherer ancestors to survive, one hundred thousand years ago.
 
Steve Denning
Register now for the Smithsonian weekend on Innovation and Storytelling on
May 8-10, 2008 in Washington DC at

http://stevedenning.com/Conferences/SmithsonianMay08.htm
steve@...
Telephone (US) 202 966 9392
Fax (US) 202 686 0591
Skype: stevedenning1


Valdis Krebs <valdis@...>
 

Yes, maybe they have the highest quality products that no one wants?

My gut tells me that they became way too evangelical about six sigma and ignored other things like innovation, learning/knowledge-sharing, listening to the market. The BW story Dave points us to shows how 3M avoided that path, or was on that path and chose to step off.

The whole notion of six-sigma appears so anti-innovation to me. With innovation you want to pay attention to what is happening just outside the norm [Toyota/Honda: how are people customizing our cars, Apple iPod Touch: people are not focusing on music functions, but on the Internet capabilities of the device]. Paying attention and then adapting leads to products people want.

Ideally you want to have both high innovation and high quality, but not so that one kills the other.

Valdis

On Apr 10, 2008, at 12:46 PM, Stephen Denning wrote:
It takes a number of things to kill a great company. Six Sigma may be part of it. Leadership is another. Having the wrong products, or the right products at the wrong time, is


bernadette.boas <bernadette.boas@...>
 

Steve, Bill and others,
great points on how individuals as well as organizations need to view
collaboration as a key function in the success of a business; as no
company can afford to have intelligence locked away in individuals
head, proprietary to only themselves.

Having first hand experience (and some pain) in the institution of
collaboration practices, I agree with Steve. Incentives work great in
getting stagnate collaboration going in an organization. however it
will become short term, as everyone has to focus on the end goal and
that is to make collaboration a natural part of an organization,
teams, and individuals. I have found over and over again, that it
starts from the top. Leaders of the organization; C level and
managers must support, advocate and lead by example the means of
creating, sharing and reusing knowledge through collaboration (and I
did not say 'documenting'). Without that 'from the top' approach, you
may find pockets of strong knowledge sharing and collaboration
(ususally at a project or functional team level), but it will never
be embedded into the culture, value and overall business as it needs
to be in order to realize all of the benefits it can bring to a
company.

Changing cultures, mindsets and behaviors takes time - a great deal
of it..... keep at it, it will come. If it doesn't then, well as it
was stated, companies will ultimately go down in flames (or have a
heck of a time surviving).



Bernadette Boas
678-438-1908
bernadette.boas@hotmail.com
"Driving Change, Delivering Results"






--- In sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com, "Stephen Denning" <steve@...>
wrote:

Bill,

*The Social Atom *challenges the idea that collaboration can be
totally
explained as a WIIFM phenomenon. WIIFM can't explain why a soldier
will fall
on a grenade to save his buddies, or a number of other striking and
well-documented social phenomena where self-interest clearly isn't
at play.

Organizations may be able to encourage collaboration by creating
incentives
for individuals, but incentives can only take you so far. If people
continue
to view the world through WIIFM spectacles, and calculate their own
self-interest before every possible action, you won't be getting
the kind of
highly energized collaboration that you see for instance in the
cases
described in Lynda Gratton's *Hot Spots*.

Steve Denning
Register now for the Smithsonian weekend on Innovation and
Storytelling on
May 8-10, 2008 in Washington DC at
http://stevedenning.com/Conferences/SmithsonianMay08.htm
steve@...
Telephone (US) 202 966 9392
Fax (US) 202 686 0591
Skype: stevedenning1


Kaplan, Bill <bill.kaplan@...>
 

Please don’t assume that anything is absolute … but it is a factor in some contexts.. nothing is a 1 or a 0

 

Best

 

Bill

William S. Kaplan, CPCM

Chief Knowledge Officer

Acquisition Solutions, Inc.

 

(w) 703.253.6313

(c)  571.238.9878

 

"Knowledge at Work"

 

The information contained in this message may be privileged, confidential, and protected from disclosure. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by replying to this message, and then delete it from your computer.

 

 

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Stephen Denning
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2008 13:10
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Six Sigma and Motorola

 

Bill,

 

The Social Atom challenges the idea that collaboration can be totally explained as a WIIFM phenomenon. WIIFM can't explain why a soldier will fall on a grenade to save his buddies, or a number of other striking and well-documented social phenomena where self-interest clearly isn't at play.

 

Organizations may be able to encourage collaboration by creating incentives for individuals, but incentives can only take you so far. If people continue to view the world through WIIFM spectacles, and calculate their own self-interest before every possible action, you won't be getting the kind of highly energized collaboration that you see for instance in the cases described in Lynda Gratton's Hot Spots.


Steve Denning
Register now for the Smithsonian weekend on Innovation and Storytelling on
May 8-10, 2008 in Washington DC at
http://stevedenning.com/Conferences/SmithsonianMay08.htm
steve@...
Telephone (US) 202 966 9392
Fax (US) 202 686 0591
Skype: stevedenning1


David Snowden <snowded@...>
 

I think there is a qualitative difference with Sick Stigma, its imposition in biological terms prevents evolution.  The system constrains behaviour to the point where the system is ordered and predictable with little evolutionary potential.  Regardless of the quality of the leadership it is thus likely to have a negative impact in other than controllable manufacturing processes.

In a sense Sick Stigma works on the same assumptions as traditional economics - namely the assumption of rational decisions based on self-interest.   As Steve says this does not explain altruism and sacrifice.  Evolutionary advantage in social systems explains this in part, but within the context of family, clan or tribe not society as a whole.   Complexity theory teaches us that proximate interactions are key, and that equates to a small group if interactions not a wider system.   

That said you can not scale clan or family behaviour patterns to a large firm.   Acquaints limits (Dunbar's number of 150) trust limits (15) also constrain what is possible.    If we start to see organisations as networks of small clan type structures (something I believe is possible)
interacting with their environment then we can get hunter-gather behaviour.

Unfortunately formal top down drive communities of practice and attempting to create ideal leaders doesn't make a blind bit of difference to outcome unless the basic structure of interaction is sorted out in the first place.  If nothing else there is no such thing a an ideal leader, context determines success and there is as much a place for the dictator as there is for the altruist.



Dave Snowden
Founder & Chief Scientific Officer
Cognitive Edge Pte Ltd

Now blogging at www.cognitive-edge.com


On 10 Apr 2008, at 17:46, Stephen Denning wrote:

Valdis
 
It takes a number of things to kill a great company. Six Sigma may be part of it. Leadership is another. Having the wrong products, or the right products at the wrong time, is yet another. And then there's the degree of collaboration in the firm.
 
When I did some work with Motorola a while back, I was struck by the managerial commitment to intra-mural competition. At the time, I wondered how this could possibly be the basis for an agile knowledge-sharing, learning, innovative organization. I haven't been back there since and so I don't really know what's been going on there recently, but this might be one facet to examine.
 
It calls to mind a recent book, The Social Atom by Mark Buchanan. It's a slim, well-written book, which is always a plus for me. And it's one of the best short diagnoses I've read of what's fundamentally wrong with traditional economics. It also deals with the basic issues of group vs. individual, and cooperation vs. competition. It explains how evolutionary processes can explain something that seems incompatible with Darwin: why do people collaborate, when collaboration is against their self-interest?
 
Fundamentally, collaboration is irrational. Attempts by economists to rationalize collaboration as indirect self-interest don't really work: there are many phenomena that can't be explained away like this. So why do people collaborate, against their self-interest? Why do some organizations while others die? What's the underlying dynamic?The book suggests that the strength of the collaborative culture is one of the key determinants of long-term organizational survival. It may not explain the demise of any individual organization. But viewing numbers of organizations over time, organizations with hard-working collaborative cultures will tend to win out over organizations marked by internal competition.
 
The hypothesis is that at the center of the modern firm, it is the same precious resource of energized collaboration than enabled our hunter-gatherer ancestors to survive, one hundred thousand years ago.
 
Steve Denning
Register now for the Smithsonian weekend on Innovation and Storytelling on
May 8-10, 2008 in Washington DC at
http://stevedenning.com/Conferences/SmithsonianMay08.htm 
steve@stevedenning.com
Telephone (US) 202 966 9392
Fax (US) 202 686 0591
Skype: stevedenning1



Valdis Krebs <valdis@...>
 

Yes, and "six degrees of separation" is a bunch of hooey also because most human networks have a "horizon" [past which you cannot see nor influence] of 2-3 steps/degrees... reinforcing the focus on "local interactions" Dave mentions.

Dave, do you have a citation of the trust limits of 15? I have run across all sorts of numbers for "strong ties" from 6-12 and now 15.

Valdis Krebs
http://www.orgnet.com

On Apr 10, 2008, at 5:07 PM, David Snowden wrote:

That said you can not scale clan or family behaviour patterns to a large firm. Acquaints limits (Dunbar's number of 150) trust limits (15) also constrain what is possible. If we start to see organisations as networks of small clan type structures (something I believe is possible)
interacting with their environment then we can get hunter-gather behaviour.


Stephen Bounds <theguru@...>
 

--- In sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com, "Stephen Denning" <steve@...> wrote:
Fundamentally, collaboration is irrational. Attempts by economists to
rationalize collaboration as indirect self-interest don't really
work: there
are many phenomena that can't be explained away like this. So why do
people
collaborate, against their self-interest?
There's a book called "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely. While I
wouldn't really recommend the whole book, it did contain one
experimentally-supported concept which I found interesting.

In essence, the experiment tested the idea that humans operate
according to either social norms, or market norms.

If true, this would explain why some companies struggle to achieve
effective collaboration: their environment emphasises market norms,
and thus the WIIFM principle wins out.

On the other hand, if the company achieves an environment where social
norms are dominant, effective collaboration is much more likely.

Social norms appeal to our ancient evolutionary imperatives, but
employment is fundamentally a market-driven phenomenon. This means
that it's very easy to undercut attempts to make a dominant-social
environment: for example, providing individual bonuses quickly
undercuts the social norm in any group.

Regards,

-- Stephen.


David Snowden <snowded@...>
 

The main reference I found was 30 from a cultural anthropology text book.   It took it down to 15 (to match 5 & 150) and the reflect the greater tendency to atomism in modern society.  There was a correlation with the average size of the family in the society in which you grew up which would match theories on post natal plasticity of the human brain. 



Dave Snowden
Founder & Chief Scientific Officer
Cognitive Edge Pte Ltd

Now blogging at www.cognitive-edge.com


On 10 Apr 2008, at 22:48, Valdis Krebs wrote:

Yes, and "six degrees of separation" is a bunch of hooey also because 
most human networks have a "horizon" [past which you cannot see nor 
influence] of 2-3 steps/degrees... reinforcing the focus on "local 
interactions" Dave mentions.

Dave, do you have a citation of the trust limits of 15? I have run 
across all sorts of numbers for "strong ties" from 6-12 and now 15.

Valdis Krebs
http://www.orgnet.com

On Apr 10, 2008, at 5:07 PM, David Snowden wrote:

> That said you can not scale clan or family behaviour patterns to a 
> large firm. Acquaints limits (Dunbar's number of 150) trust limits 
> (15) also constrain what is possible. If we start to see 
> organisations as networks of small clan type structures (something I 
> believe is possible)
> interacting with their environment then we can get hunter-gather 
> behaviour.
>



Matt Moore <laalgadger@...>
 
Edited

Valdis,

The CMU/MS study of instant messaging throws up a couple of interesting numbers. I wouldn't defend their validity but they are intriguing:
http://engineerswithoutfear.blogspot.com/2008/04/global-im-networks-magic-numbers.html

Matt