Monday, July 5, 2010

And Six Sigma Helped me connect with GOD !!!

Now that I have grabbed your attention with a chic headline, it is time to move to the subject that I really wanted to talk about.
“How is Six-Sigma different from other quality initiatives?” In the numerous seminars, trainings and workshops that I have facilitated on the subject, one question that would always make its unceremonious presence and make me twitch on my feet.
The experience of handling different kinds of audiences and numerous tricky questions over the years helped me give convincing answers but deep inside I knew…I only justified…and more I justified more curious I got to understand the real answer.
The question made its way from noisy classrooms and seminar halls to the silent confines of my bossom creating a noise within.
“All questions have answers” a statement, that I had rather arrogantly shot at my Grandmother as an inquisitive small boy when she could not think of a proper answer to a rather tough question that I had asked, now started to haunt me. My soul was still young and was now shooting the same statement at the seemingly knowledgeable me. Probably this is what wise men call poetic justice…feeling the same pain that we inflict on others.
These were some thoughts arising in my tormented brain on a cold wintry morning and manifesting themselves as drops of sweat on my brow. I let my thoughts wander some more like one does while practicing transcendental meditation hoping to finally be able to meditate on the all vital question that had become the centre of my being. One thought followed the other but none related to the seed question, probably I was not following the basic tenet of the exercise of not to focus on the seed question because more you try to concentrate, further away your thoughts will take you. But could I blame myself for that, how can you detach yourself from a question that engulfs your soul.
While in contemplation the memories of my childhood started playing in front of me and I visualized myself asking the rather tough question to my grandmother “How are religions different from each other when all of them are trying to achieve the same GOD?” I felt rather amused when I realized the similarity between the two questions, most likely the reason my thoughts took me there.
Are the answers also similar? I rather mockingly asked myself, realizing the idiocy of my thought. But has Genrich Altschuller in his famous TRIZ philosophy not said “All of us suffer from Psychological inertia because of which we always search for solutions in our known field of study whereas simple solutions are available in a different body of knowledge. The moment we rid ourselves of this inertia BREAKTHROUGH happens”.
Was I suffering from “psychological inertia”? Should I explore the mystic field to find answer to my question that is related to Quality Management and Statistics? Am I onto something here? Is my guardian angel making me tread this path? Or is it the Devil taking me further away?
While reflecting on these thoughts I felt a calm light emanate from my soul drawing away the darkness in my mind and the answers started revealing themselves. Altschuller was right “The answers to the current questions lie in the solutions of the past problems”.
“All the religions are meant to lead to the same GOD and all of them although seemingly diverse are nothing but a set of narratives, symbols, rituals, belief systems and prayers to meet the same objective. All these might vary from religion to religion but the underlying philosophy of each religion is “Spirituality” which is the discipline and process to achieve Almighty. Seekers can follow any of the well laid out religious paths to attain GOD or just follow spirituality to do the same.”
This answer to the childhood question was now manifesting itself as the answer to my current query.
“All the quality initiatives are meant to lead to the same goal “Excellence” and all of them although seemingly diverse are nothing but a set of narratives, structures, methodologies and systems to meet the same objective. All these might vary from initiative to initiative but the underlying philosophy of each initiative is “Six-Sigma” which is the discipline and process to achieve excellence. Quality seekers can follow any of the well laid out initiatives to attain EXCELLENCE or just follow Six-Sigma thought process to do the same.”
So, I got my answer, Six-Sigma is a thought, a process, a philosophy whose sole aim is excellence. And same thought is the foundation of all other quality initiatives as well. Six-Sigma is not different from other initiatives but the soul and spirit of all of them.
One thing you would have realized that next time I am asked this question in a classroom, seminar or a workshop I will not justify but give an answer, an answer at least I believe in.
One more thing, probably you would have realized by now, “Six-Sigma did help me connect with GOD”


  1. Hats off to your thought process... you are the expert in Six sigma that I know of. Very nice article Vikram.