Some are confused about the difference between Lean and Six Sigma. Lean focuses on speed, Six Sigma on eliminating defects and variations.
Also, there's this debate on what's better to use first when starting a quality initiative, do you go Lean first or Six Sigma first?
What's your take on this?
Gap Analysis (noun): examination done to map the gap that exists between implied & specified customer requirements, and existing processes.
By Carol Anderson,
Recently I came across a sponsored article in Fast Company, titled Happiness Secrets from the Staff of Delivering Happiness at Work.Apparently Zappos’ leadership team has launched a new consulting business on how to achieve Zappos’ fun culture — using fun culture as a measure of engagement.
Who knew? One picture in the article shows three employees with rubber noses. That’d go over well with customers interested in effective growth of their investment portfolio …
Several blog sites that I frequent post myriad articles on employee engagement – from how important it is, to how much additional revenue is generated by engaged employees, to why it is different than satisfaction. And then, there was the “happiness” article.
Has the word “engagement” lost all meaning? Inc. magazine carried a post, The Dark Side of Employee Engagement, in which the authors cite Leadership IQ’s recent study showing that those who were most “engaged” might not be the best performers. They caution the reader to clearly understand the definition of engagement, when embarking on a study to determine engagement levels.
I have come to the conclusion that “engagement” has become one of those buzzwords that has lost its meaning because it is so overused. And I fear that focusing on “engagement” has caused us to lose sight of what is really important – skilled leaders who can move teams forward.
I watched an organization spend six figures annually on engagement surveys, while totally missing the opportunity to develop new leaders, identify future leaders, and help those leaders lead effectively. Year after year, the organization patted itself on the back for slight movement in engagement scores. Yay – we’re moving from mediocre to a little bit less mediocre!
How in heaven’s name can an organization measure or improve engagement without investing in leaders who have the skill to engage?
Conceptually, engagement is complex. Is the employee productive? Is the employee achieving the critical business goals? Is the employee going to look elsewhere for employment, thereby leaving a vacancy that costs money?
It isn’t simply performance and it isn’t simply being committed to the organization. The complexity comes in recognizing that those two elements are different for every employee.
Developing a committed, productive workforce So who is in the best position to lead employees to high performance and commitment? My thought: their leader.
So how does the organization know if leaders are effective in developing a committed and productive workforce?
Ah, so that’s the big question that leads to engagement surveys. Senior leadership needs empirical data to know if the subordinate leaders are effective. That’s a pretty costly venture to acquire empirical data when the data might be right there staring them in the face.
“Leaders of leaders” – those individuals to whom leaders report – have a challenge that is unique to their role. Like all leaders, they need to effectively develop their talent. But the talent they need to be developing is skill and competence in leading others.
I contend that “leaders of leaders” have tools available to them that are low cost and high payoff. These tools provide insight into subordinate manager leadership skills, connect them to the employees and may, in fact, uncover innovation and process improvement.
Tools that “leaders of leaders” can utilize Give some of these a try. They may sound a bit simplistic, but they work.
Don’t have time to do this? Oops, wrong answer. This IS leadership.
Engagement? It’s all about effective leadership. Help leaders learn to dialogue.
And lest I offend my colleagues who offer surveys, I don’t mean to say I don’t think they are necessary, particularly when the organization becomes very large. The empirical data from a good survey provides valuable insight into an important part of the business.
But regular and honest dialogue throughout all levels of the organization is, in my mind, the best way to customize the concept of engagement to all of the different employees.
Rex Jayson Tuozo "The Six Sigma Guy"
Rex is a Six Sigma Trainer and Consultant, theater performer, Suits & Game of Thrones fan, and the author of the 1st Six Sigma book in the Philippines
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