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Strategic Six Sigma: Best Practices from the Executive Suite Hardcover – September 13, 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Six Sigma is more popular than ever as an operational quality improvement technique for cutting costs, improving processes, and reducing business cycle times. But Six Sigma can also be employed as a powerful leadership philosophy and methodology. Today, more and more companies are realizing the full potential of Six Sigma as a strategic tool for developing and accelerating corporate strategy and for spurring organizational change.

Strategic Six Sigma: Best Practices from the Executive Suite outlines the key elements of Strategic Six Sigma leadership in successful companies and provides readers with the guidance necessary to apply these same practices and approaches in their own companies. Expert advice from Six Sigma specialists at PwC Consulting, interviews with leading CEOs, and case studies offer readers the chance to see Strategic Six Sigma in action and study the proven benefits of successful implementation.

This book clearly demonstrates how the principles and approaches of Six Sigma-when applied systematically and strategically-can have a tremendous impact both on a company's bottom-line business performance and on its potential for continued growth. Six Sigma principles provide companies with a common vehicle and language with which to frame business goals, align people and processes, focus organizational energy, and drive results. Because the methodology relies on factual data and real-world feedback to drive decision-making, it's able to unify top leadership teams under a common banner and make strategic planning and execution more efficient and successful. Strategic Six Sigma highlights these benefits and guides leaders in making this proven methodology the starting point for company-wide strategy.

Three distinct sections offer business leaders everything they need to understand and implement Strategic Six Sigma in their organizations. Part One focuses on how implementing the methodology helps companies survive in the marketplace, build customer loyalty, and provide high-quality products and services. Part Two guides leaders in implementation and profiles companies that have achieved stunning success with Strategic Six Sigma-GE, Dow Chemical, Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and many more. Part Three examines the future of the methodology and provides best practices for developing leaders with strong Strategic Six Sigma expertise, as well as needed technical skills, people skills, and change management skills.

Strategic Six Sigma isn't just about improving business process performance-it's about fundamentally transforming the relationships companies maintain with their employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, analysts, and even competitors. It lets you view your business from your customer's perspective so you can exceed customer expectations and marketplace requirements. More than just a technique for streamlining your operations, Strategic Six Sigma is the glue that holds your organization together and aligns everyone behind your mission.

From the Back Cover

"Six Sigma is a key to the productivity and customer satisfaction that will define twenty-firstcentury success. Smith and Blakeslee create a clear guide for any organization that wants to prosper through quality."
-Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House

"You couldn't ask for a more perfect road map to create and sustain an effective Six Sigma process. Full of practical insights and tools for success that will help executives drive performance whether in industrial or healthcare organizations."
-Ellen Gaucher, Group Vice President
Operations, Quality, and Customer Service
Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield

"For my money, this is the quintessential book on Six Sigma. First, Smith and Blakeslee do not treat Six Sigma as if it stands alone. They properly emphasize the importance of the broader organizational and environmental context-especially the customer. Second, they explain how to make Six Sigma strategic, that is, how it can leverage overall organizational change. For the CEO contemplating the implementation of Six Sigma, or already underway with it for that matter, this is the source."
-W. Warner Burke
Professor of Psychology and Education
Teachers College, Columbia University

"Most companies today are familiar with Six Sigma as a quality improvement technique that can be used to cut costs, eliminate waste, or improve business performance. In addition to this familiar application of the methodology, this book defines how you can use the power of Six Sigma as the catalyst for organizational change when deployed by a company to transform how people do their everyday jobs. Strategic Six Sigma: Best Practices from the Executive Suite takes discussion of Six Sigma to a whole new level, and is therefore a must-read for any organizational transformation!"
-Roxanne O'Brasky, President
International Society of Six Sigma Professionals (ISSSP)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 13, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471232947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471232940
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,582,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Unless you are the CEO of a company and have total control over implementing a Six Sigma program, I wouldn't recommend this book. It doesn't go much into the meat of Six Sigma, but is focused around developing a Six Sigma culture within your organization. It is also very redundant, repeating the same themes over and over throughout the book. A good editor could have reduced this book to 50 pages. Not recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
A lot of the Six Sigma books and articles I have read appear to assume you greatly miss your college statistics class. This book focuses on issues, ideas and examples relevant to senior management, while referencing some of the tools and techniques that will be essential to execute successfully. Let's face it -- senior executives need examples to create the sense of urgency and "what can be" through Six Sigma; there are plenty of books, consultants and training firms who can take you from that commitment through execution. I highly recommend this book for managers who want to understand why they should seriously consider Six Sigma or similar approaches (TQM, CQI, etc.) to improve their company's or business unit's effectiveness in meeting their customer's needs and efficiency vs. competitors.
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Format: Hardcover
Thanks to endorsements from managerial heavyweights like Jack Welch, most people in business are by now familiar with Six Sigma as a process for measuring and reducing product defects. In Strategic Six Sigma, however, Dick Smith, Jerry Blakeslee and Richard Koonce demonstrate that the Six Sigma methodology can and should be applied to the highest levels of strategic planning. Simply put, the authors illustrate how the rigors of Six Sigma can improve your performance in terms of overall strategy, growth and customer satisfaction in the same way that it streamlines operations on a production floor. We...strongly recommend this book to business leaders, executives and managers, all of whom will benefit from its hands-on advice for integrating the tenets of Six Sigma into corporate strategy.
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By A Customer on March 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book provides a valuable strategic framework with which to implement Six Sigma within a company today. Unlike most books on Six Sigma, which focus on the granular details of six sigma implementation, this book focuses on implementation from a strategic perspective; in other words, on how a company's top leadership team must be intimately involved in making Six Sigma work by creating an internal "climate of alignment" to make Six Sigma initiatives suceed. From my perspective, a critical resource for today's CEOs and their top leadership teams!
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Format: Hardcover
Well written from the strategic view of Six Sigma and where it fits into your existing corporate methodologies, process efforts and strategic initiatives. The center chapters of the book (3 through 5) are extremely rich in content. The PriceWaterhouse pedigree is obvious in the writing style and view point. Well done!
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