Friday, January 23, 2009

TASK #52: Read a book a week - THREE DOWN, 49 BOOKS TO GO!

Ok, I'm getting into a good rhythm now!...
I decided to start my next book right away to get back on my weekly timecycle. After reading “e-Preneur” a rather heavy book, I thought about trying something light.

I opted to read a book I found at work called “The Power of Six Sigma” by Subir Chowdhury. Ok, sounds complicated but in truth it was a very light read.
This short 124 page book tells the tale of a burger chain business manager who, on the day he gets fired, runs into an old friend, a pizza chain manager from the same parent company, who just got promoted.

The story tells how these two old friends professional fates differed, primarily by the discovery of Six Sigma.

Six Sigma is a quality practice developed by GE that aims to reduce errors and waste while improving customer satisfaction and the bottom line. It prescribes a simple process, DMAIC:
· Define the most costly, underlying problem you’d like to eliminate
· Measure where you are and where you want to go – to identify the gap
· Analyze the data you get – to determine how you can improve it
· Improve – get to work on applying your improvements
· Control – setting up controls so you don’t slip back into old habits

I’ve been working in quality for years, but I have to admit, this simple tale did a fantastic job of putting something I imagined to be more complicated in very simple, layman’s terms.

If anything I think it encouraged me to learn a little more about SS and maybe even become a Green Belt. (The guys that run these $150-250K improvement projects are called Black Belts and Green Belts – green being the less technical project person that eventually graduates to a Black Belt). Ok, sounds boring to many of you but becoming a Black Belt is huge and we're talking about bonuses, recognition, and marketability like you wouldn't believe.

So what’s next? One option is to read “Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000” by Pete Blackshaw; a business book that teaches you how to leverage the power of CGM (Consumer Generated Media). It would connect well with my recent “e-Preneur” book.
My dad, who reads more than anyone I know, gave me a book he loved called “The Stillborn God”. He’s been reading everything he can get his hands on about religion and it’s (mostly negative) impact on the world. This book is kind of a primer on religion and politics. Interesting topic for sure…but mostly I’m reading it because he thinks I won’t, lol. Pops is like that “I know you won’t read it but here you go!” He means well and I’ve earned the doubt, for sure. But I’m gonna have to prove him wrong this time.
As always, I love suggestions and comments. Oh, and subscribe to my blog already...yeah, over on the right. :)

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