November - December, 2011

Volume 1, Number 9

In This Issue

·    Happy Holidays

·    Reginald the Red-Nosed Reindeer?

·    Will the Real Six Sigma Please Stand Up?

·    How Effective is Your Training?

·    Link of the Month

·    2011 Baldrige Winners Announced

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Happy Holidays!

As the year is winding down, allow me to wish all our readers a very happy and safe holiday season.  I hope this year has been a great one for all of you and that next year is even better.

Congratulations go out to Charles Brown of Rancho Cordova, CA for winning the Data Mystery contest drawing from the last issue!  Entries from around the world came in with some very creative analysis.  Kudos to all the data sleuths that took on the challenge!  You can find the answer to the Poodle Industries problem here.

Have an excellent month!


Jeff Cole


JCG Management Consulting

Reginald the Red-Nosed Reindeer?

In the spirit of the upcoming holidays we offer up a decidedly non-business bit of holiday trivia.  You are likely familiar with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and the classic 1964 Rankin/Bass stop-motion animated puppet special that is a holiday classic.

Did you know that Rudolph almost wasn’t Rudolph?

The story of Rudolph was written by Montgomery Ward copywriter Robert May in 1939 and published as a give-away to children in their catalogs and stores.  (For our younger readers – prior to the internet, catalog sales were a big business.  Companies like Sears and others published phone-book sized catalogs that came to your home.  Supposedly mailmen dreaded the day these were issued each year!)    As May was writing the story, his original considerations for a name were Rollo or Reginald.  Evidently Rollo was too cheerful and Reginald was too British, so Rudolph was born!


By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed over 6 million copies of Rudolph, when it was decided to publish a book.  It “went viral” again in 1949 when singing cowboy Gene Autry recorded the classic song that went on to compete with “White Christmas” as a holiday staple.   Happy 72nd birthday Rudolph!


Will the Real Six Sigma Please Stand Up?

One of the more popular Operational Excellence methods is Six Sigma.  Created by Motorola in 1986, Six Sigma has helped thousands of organizations rack up savings totaling billions of dollars.  So popular that it has been reported there are over 400 books in print on the topic.    But, are you using the REAL Six Sigma?

The nice thing about this method is that most of the books are consistent.  Six Sigma is a well-documented and proven method.  Follow the steps and you get results.  However, it seems not everyone is following the steps!

In a 2006 study by the Aberdeen Group, 418 companies across multiple industries were studied.  Of those, a little over 200 claimed to be employing Six Sigma.  Upon further study, it was found that less than 16% of those saying they did Six Sigma were actually following the method properly!  And the 16% that did execute Six Sigma properly had results that were 40% better than those who were doing something else and just calling it “Six Sigma”. 

If you have Six Sigma in your organization it may be time for a check-up!

How Effective is Your Training?

We’ve all sat through some form of company training session.  Have you ever wondered if you’re getting your money’s worth from that session?  How would one even go about calculating that?  It’s actually fairly simple!


Did you ever fill out one of those surveys at the end of a class?  That happens to be just one piece of a larger system called the Kirkpatrick Model.

Unfortunately, that survey is where many organizations end their measurement efforts.  Created by Dr. Donald Kirkpatrick in the 1950’s, the Kirkpatrick Model involves four levels of measuring training effectiveness.

·          Level 1 (Reaction):  The survey you fill out at the end of a class

·          Level 2 (Learning):  Pre- and Post-test scores

·          Level 3 (Behavior):  Self-assessment & on the job observation

·          Level 4 (Results):    ROI, financial and quality improvements from  application of what was learned

To learn more about the Kirkpatrick Model and how to apply it, visit his website at:

Link of the Month

If you ever have to create or deliver Powerpoint presentations, there is an excellent website to help you take your presentation to the next level!

Called SlideRocket, it is a free system that lets you upload your presentations to the web, apply professional transitions and effects and present from anywhere that has internet capabilities.  It provides a link you can send to anyone and they can view your presentation online, complete with slides, video, and audio.  You can create a presentation from scratch on their system using professionally designed templates.  They also offer a for-pay version with even more options. Check out their website at

2011 Baldrige Winners Announced


The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is the nation's highest presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership. According to a 2001 NIST study, the net private benefit associated with the program to the economy as a whole was $24.65 billion: a benefit-to-cost ratio of 207-to-1.

The Department of Commerce recently announced four recipients of the 2011 Baldrige Award:

  • Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
  • Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI
  • Schneck Medical Center, Seymour, IN
  • Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage, AK

To read brief profiles of recipient organizations and their best practices, go to:


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