Rath & Strong's Six Sigma Leadership Handbook

Rath & Strong's Six Sigma Leadership Handbook

Rath & Strong's Six Sigma Leadership Handbook

Rath & Strong's Six Sigma Leadership Handbook


Achieve unparalleled customer satisfaction and greater profitability with this essential handbook! Six Sigma is a proven and highly effective business initiative for improving customer satisfaction and increasing the efficiency of processes. Rath & Strong's Six Sigma Leadership Handbook highlights the critical factors that make or break implementation, offers key best practices for getting it right the first time, and offers real-life examples and case studies that light the path to success. With Rath & Strong, you'll get an overview of the tools, methods, approaches, benefits, and risks that are associated with each element of the methodology.


Rath & Strong has produced a practical guide for CEOs and other senior leaders who face the daunting challenge of making Six Sigma work within their own organizations. This book was written because there is no standard road map that companies and institutions can follow to implement Six Sigma quality initiatives. This unique road map will help you anticipate what to expect—what works and what doesn't—based on the lessons of others who have blazed a trail and gone before.

The editors have assembled information, advice, and a wide variety of case studies illustrating how leaders can use Six Sigma to drive the business, including personal interviews of prominent business leaders from large and small companies. It isn't a handbook filled with statistical tables, but what you will see is the wide variety of challenges faced by business leaders in a broad range of companies and industries.

My company, Quest Diagnostics, made a commitment in 2000 to become a Six Sigma company. I first heard about Six Sigma more than 20 years ago while working at Corning, and subsequently lived through a myriad of “soft” approaches to quality improvement, including QMS and TQM, that failed to live up to their promise. We have invested significant time and resources as part of our commitment over the past few years and have made enormous progress toward our goal. However, the path has not always been easy, and, as with others pursuing Six Sigma perfection, there is more road to travel.

The first lesson I quickly learned was that Six Sigma isn't something that can be delegated. Like the values and culture of a company, the success of a quality initiative is a direct result of senior leadership commitment and involvement. I quickly saw that I needed to become personally involved—to take a high profile—and become a Black Belt myself. I cleared my calendar (that is, during the day!), spent four weeks in intensive training, immersing myself in Six Sigma methodology, and then led two defect-reduction projects. Being a Black Belt has helped me become an outspoken and credible advocate and champion for Six Sigma with our employees, customers, and shareholders.

A second lesson for me was that, despite many internal and external skeptics, Six Sigma can work for any organization, and not just for manufacturing companies. Yes, Six Sigma quality had its origins in the manufacturing sector, but it is being applied today to the services arena by companies such as my own and even by government agencies. Because Quest Diagnostics is in . . .

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