A Six Sigma Approach to Sustainability: Continual Improvement for Social Responsibility

In an age when most business plans extend only to the next quarterly reporting period, the authors of this book propose an audaciously longer view of future planning. Reaching beyond the modern five or ten-year strategic plan, the authors take a cue from Kongo Gumi, a Japanese construction company launched in 578 AD that managed to thrive as a family-owned business for nearly 1500 years. With the 2010 publication of an international standard on social responsibility (ISO 26000), and increased attention to sustainability and sustainability reporting, many organizations today are heeding the call to operate with this standard in mind. However, once the guidelines are understood and the gaps measured, these same organizations often struggle during implementation. Leveraging many decades of combined experience in Quality Management and Product Development, the authors of this seminal book provide a proven solution to help you turn information into action. Defining exactly what social responsibility means, A Six Sigma Approach to Sustainability introduces SOFAIR, a six-step methodology for achieving sustainability through social responsibility performance improvement. This rigorous methodology uses Six Sigma, and other process improvement methods, as a basis for maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of your organization’s social responsibility performance improvement effort. The book explains and demonstrates the meaning of CISR(R) – continual improvement for social responsibility – and illustrates the six-step SOFAIR methodology with many examples. The authors explain how your existing organizational continual improvement efforts can be adapted to also focus on sustainability. Four case studies are provided that demonstrate the application of the methodology in manufacturing, healthcare, business processes, and everyday personal life. Finally, the authors provide 10 things you can do today as social responsibility action. Kongo Gumi represents the author’s goal of sustainability, and prompts the question, “What will your organization look like, not in 5-10 years, but in fifteen centuries?” This book provides a way for you to take action to create a more sustainable environment where your customers, suppliers, employees, and communities are available for your organization for decades, and even centuries, to come. About the Book’s Cover: The six hands of many colors encircling the globe represent the diversity of stakeholders engaged in the six-step SOFAIR Process, and the global impact of CISR(R). CISR(R) is a registered trademark and can be used with permission for non-commercial use. Contact: www.SherpaBCorp.com

About the Author

Holly A. Duckworth is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt with over 30 years of experience in manufacturing. Holly leads organizations on the pursuit for process improvement. She has over 2000 hours as a classroom instructor. She is a volunteer leader for the American Society for Quality and their Social Responsibility Organization. Holly has coauthored two other books: My Six Sigma Workbook (Paton Professional Publishing) and Social Responsibility: Failure Mode Effects and Analysis (CRC Press). Andrea Hoffmeier is a Six Sigma Black Belt with over 25 years’ experience in marketing, product development, quality management, and organizational excellence. She has worked with organizations including Bellevue University, Callaway Golf, Convergys, Disney, First Data, Home Depot, Nordstrom, PS Brands, Ralph Lauren, Sunbeam, SunTrust Bank, UMUC, US Treasury, Verizon, Walmart and Xerox. She has trained and presented extensively on the topic of Social Responsibility, including articles in the American Society for Quality magazine and Wiley Journal. Andrea is completing her Master’s degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management at Harvard.

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