Can Cross-Silo Marriages Work?

The Friday Clinic – a confidential service for those with process problems and nowhere else to turn. We’re here to help!

Dear Doctor Process,

My fiancée says it’s all over. I don’t know how we came to this. I’m just a regular Six Sigma guy and she is the cutest Lean lady. [redacted on legal advice].  Is there any hope?

Name and address withheld

Dear Friend,

Cross-cultural relationships can work.  Many of us know IT guys, for instance, who have managed to marry outside their community and it’s worked. But if you’re serious, you need to shape up.

First up, you’ve got to start listening to your fiancée. Technically, you may be right that procreation is a process. But most women don’t see it as one. Or would agree that it should be statistically controlled. So don’t be defensive when she insists that your Minitab stays downstairs. Minimising variation doesn’t sit too well with quite a lot of aspects of happily married life.

You’re going to have to special attention to your language too. What works in the Six Sigma frat won’t work cross-culturally. Frankly, you’re lucky she didn’t finish it earlier after your ‘joke’ about whether her family was out-of-control and her mother was a cause of special variation.

And practise thinking from her perspective. It won’t hurt you to apply 5S to your tie-rack and wardrobe. You say that it’s her Lean charm that’s swept you off your feet, so respect that. If you really do want five children called Don, Mary, Andy, Iris and Charlie so that your offspring would be DMAIC, then maybe you need to find an MBB to settle down with.

Plead with her for a second chance, and this time learn her language. Then you won’t have more silly arguments about going to The Gambia.  You’ll never again get your hand slapped when she asks you to work on her pex.  And at the right time, you can whisper intimate sweet nothings that will bring you closer. Cuddling up on the sofa, even Lean girls want to hear more than ‘genchi genbutsu’ (you have got to delete that Lean Bluffer app).

Basically, and I know it’s hard, just try to act normal. Do not ever again think about proposing with a value chain.

Yours

The Process Doctor

More tragic tales from The Clinic:

18 Feb 2013   Dealing With Process Commitment Phobia

7 Oct 2012   Dealing With ERP Hangover (MyERPia)

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