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Criticality of Internal Excellence in Six Sigma for Global Transformation

Pradeep B. Deshpande1,*and Mikel J. Harry2

Author for Correspondence. Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering, University of Louisville and President and CEO, Six Sigma and Advanced Controls, Inc., pradeep@sixsigmaquality.com
2Co-creator of Six Sigma and Founder and CEO, Six Sigma Management Institute, Inc., dr.mikel.harry@gmail.com

Six sigma and its cousin Lean Six Sigma are by now mature frameworks having been embraced by some 40% of US domestic and multinational organizations including many US federal agencies. It is well known that if embraced and diligently pursued six sigma is quite capable of transforming entire nations, not just corporations. This assertion is based on the capacity of six sigma to operate all human activities, manufacturing or transactional (service), linear or nonlinear, static or dynamic, in the best possible manner, maximizing quality and customer satisfaction, and minimizing cycle times, energy consumption, and defects. In this context, it is unwise to think of six sigma as yet another quality initiative; six sigma is also a way of thinking, a way of problem-solving using data and strict discipline. All that remains true today. So if someone had asked us a few years ago, “Is six sigma the ultimate in excellence?” or put it another way, “Beyond six sigma what”? We did not have a good answer but now we do! What has changed is that a considerable body of evidence has come to light not long ago leading us to now assert that while six sigma is absolutely essential for excellence, it is not sufficient for breakthrough progress. The elephant in the room is the level of internal excellence (this term explained at the end of the article). There is strong evidence showing how high level of internal excellence leads to great performance. It follows therefore that pursuit of internal excellence together with six sigma will lead to exemplary performance. On the flip side, the absence of internal excellence and six sigma is an invitation to disaster. Lest we forget, six sigma remains the most valuable gift to the world; it can be shown that the pursuit of internal excellence itself is a highly sophisticated six sigma problem

Briefly, the quest for unparalleled excellence must include two components: (1) Excellence of all external activities, and (2) Excellence of the Internal whose goal is to raise the level of internal excellence which leads to a high level of compassion, better health & wellness, better leadership decisions, creativity and innovativeness, less discord and violence, and improved performance in all walks of life. The scientific framework of internal excellence together with six sigma for external excellence are the paths forward for individual, organizational, national, and global transformation, one that can transform the 21st century. Harvard Professor Bill George’s HBR Blog, “The Rise of Compassionate Management Finally” (September 18, 2013) could be look at in the light of the material presented here.

Definitions and Note.

  • Rising level of Internal Excellence equates to higher S, R, T Level of Consciousness
  • S: Truthfulness, honesty, steadfastness, equanimity; study
  • R: Attachment, bravery, ego, ambition, greed, desire to live;
  • T: Lying, cheating, causing injury in words or deeds, sleep.
  • Minimum S, R, T required for life.
  • S component strongly correlates with positive emotions (Unconditioned love, kindness, empathy, compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, etc.)
  • Excessive R, T components strongly correlate with negative emotions (Anger, hostility, hatred, irritation, sorrow, fear).
  • External Excellence refers to the wherewithal of doing all that we do from wake up time to bedtime including all that we do at work in the best possible manner.
Figure 1. Equivalent Representations of Rising Level of Internal Excellence and Emotions
Further Reading
Deshpande, P. B., PhD and Kowall, James P. MD, PhD, The Nature of Ultimate Reality and How it can Transform Our World: Evidence from Modern Physics; Wisdom of YODA, Six Sigma and Advanced Controls, Inc., 2015 (available on amazon).
Deshpande, P. B., Six Sigma for Karma Capitalism, Six Sigma and Advanced Controls, Inc., January 2015 (Available on amazon).
Deshpande, Pradeep B., Profound Implications of Minimum variance Control, Dr. Mikel Harry’s Blog, Business Improvement Times, May 2015.
Harry, Mikel J. and Lawson, J. R., Six Sigma Productivity Analysis and Process Characterization, Motorola Press, 1992.