Introduction to Lean Six Sigma: Why Most Leaders Lose the Continuous Improvement Battle

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With all the recent economic and personal impacts of COVID, climate change, and other major societal drivers, lean six sigma principles can be an effective methodology to overcome the internal cultural inertia to find ways to eliminate waste, reduce variation and improve financial performance of your organization. However, many studies report high failure rates of program and improvement efforts (40-60%) despite the fact that many improvement projects are very successful in enhancing efficiencies. Why is that?

We will highlight three areas that may be major root cause issues of improvement failures:

• Not thinking holistically about the ecosystem to be improved

• Alignment of improvement efforts to overall strategy

• Not truly understanding the stakeholder and customer needs when defining the problems and solutions While lean sigma tools are effective with data and processes, the methodology is poorly equipped to handle mental models, assumptions, and conversational issues.

Leaders must find ways to counteract their own internal tendencies to jump to solutions, clarify assumptions they make about the end-to-end system, and effectively communicate core issues to their teams without generating additional waste in the system. By doing this, continuous improvement efforts tend to be much more successful at identifying and eliminating “true” root causes, and the resulting solutions are more sustainable over time. Come and learn some new methods that will enhance your improvement skill set and overcome these challenges and increase your winning percentage of winning the improvement battles.