I strongly believe that people within an organization should be unified behind a common vision and values; otherwise, it will likely lead to confusion and mistrust between employees and managers, and this will potentially impact stakeholders, partners and customers. Therefore, for any Lean Six Sigma project, it is crucial to validate the unified vision and values are shared across the organization. This critical concept is also integrated in my FUSE© methodology.
We can easily test whether all employees, customers, partners, stakeholders share the same or similar values and whether all employees (includes managers, founders, executives) share a unified vision through 1) a well designed stratified survey, and 2) a simple statistical hypothesis testing. Since Google has some similar values as what are presented in my FUSE framework; therefore, I am going to use Google as a fictitious example of how you would go about achieving this.
Google’s Vision and Values
According to Google (http://www.google.com/enterprise/end_user_experience.html), its vision is to deliver relevant results across all data sources – the Internet, a user’s local computer, and the corporate network. And its values (http://www.google.ca/about/company/philosophy) are:
- Focus on the user;
- It is better to do one thing exceptionally well;
- Faster is better than slow;
- Democracy on the web works;
- You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer;
- You can make money without doing bad things;
- There is always information out there;
- The need for information crosses all borders;
- You can be serious without a suite;
- Great isn’t just good enough.
Collecting Data to test the Level of Trust
For simplicity, let’s assume that we administered a few different surveys on behalf of Google. First, we administered a survey to Google employees to see if they share the same vision and values. Rather than simply asking them to select the correct statements about the company’s values and vision, we provide them with various interpretations of the vision/value and ask them to select the one that is most correct.
In relates to vision, we included an interpretation obtained from the founder and another interpretation obtained from employees input when asked to select a statement best reflects their understanding of Google’s vision. We segmented the survey to compare the results of senior management versus employees at different managerial and non-managerial levels. Furthermore, we stratified the survey by country because we assume that some interpretations of the vision maybe distorted because of the translation of the survey and perhaps cultural differences.
We conducted a similar design to see if employees share a similar interpretation of Google’s values. Besides Google staff, its partners should also be invited to participate in the survey related to values.
For simplicity, let’s assume the following results were compiled:
- The survey was sent to 10,000 people in 10 different countries for a total of 100,000 people.
- The survey was sent to 8,000 employees in each country and 1,000 managers, 1,000 partners;
- We received 6,000 employee, 800 managers and 700 partner responses back from each country;
- The founder of the company believes that 90% of all employees and managers share the same interpretation of the vision that he has;
- 70% of the employees and 88% of managers selected the explanation of the vision, which was the same as founder across all countries. In order to keep the math simple, we have assumed that there are no differences in results across the countries.
- 75% of the employees, 80% of managers and 60% of partners select the interpretation of the values, which were the same as the founder. Again, we are trying to keep the math simple so we assume no differences across countries as well as across values.
Now that you have collected the raw data, it is time to design a hypotheses test. This will be covered in the second part of the article.
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About the Author
Kyle Toppazzini is the president of Toppazzini and Lee (T&L) Consulting, and an international leader and consultant in lean Six Sigma. He publishes blogs and articles in Bloomberg Business Week, Digital Journal, Quality Digest Magazine and Social Media and is the author of the CFO Scorecard published in Exchange Magazine. (A global magazine produced by the Association of Financial Professionals). Kyle is currently working on a book that will bring new innovations in Lean Six Sigma and Quality Management.
Kyle is a six sigma master black belt and lean six sigma black belt receiving his training from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College, a certified Balanced Scorecard Trainer, and a member of the Palladium Executive Group founded by David Norton founder of the Balanced Scorecard.
Kyle has conducted more than 30 performance and process improvement projects across the public and private organizations in government and health care yielding millions of dollars in cost savings and 80% improvement in performance.
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