There’s a wry old episode of NBC’s “30 Rock” in which Jack Donaghy and Liz Lemon attend a seemingly fictional “Six Sigma” business conference (motto: “Retreat to Move Forward”) and immerse themselves in the ever-intense world of consulting buzzwords and team-building exercises. “There they are,” says Jack, reverently, pointing to a group of older men, “The six sigmas themselves, each of them embodying a pillar of the Six Sigma business philosophy: Teamwork. Insight. Brutality. Male Enhancement. Handshakefulness.
The former GE CEO and bestselling management guru Jack Welch boasted that he shut down corporate divisions that weren’t first or second in their markets. By that standard, Mitt Romney, who’s running for America’s CEO, still doesn’t have to shut his campaign down, even though he finished second in Iowa and now in New Hampshire. Romney gives every indication that he’d be the first president to give power-point presentations in his State of the Union speeches. But, holding a hand-held mike and without any notes, Romney was relentlessly upbeat as he recited his latest stump speech.