The IBM Institute for Business Value released a study earlier this year entitled “Driving operational innovation using Lean Six Sigma.” This study showcases how three companies – Caterpillar, POSCO, and Scottish Power have elevated Lean Six Sigma to do more than improve processes and reduce costs:

Although CEOs might instinctively think of management approaches such as Lean Six Sigma in terms of process improvement and cost reduction, our research suggests that this perspective is shortsighted. The successful companies we studied acted in a more visionary manner. They deliberately expanded the scope of Lean Six Sigma, using it to surface significant innovation opportunities that impacted much more than their operations. And in the process, they were able to improve business performance and establish organizations that now have an inherent inclination toward innovation.

The next time you hear someone say that Six Sigma stifles innovation, forward them a copy of this report and let the success stories speak for themselves.

Driving operational innovation using Lean Six Sigma
IBM Institute for Business Value study
by: George Byrne, Dave Lubowe and Amy Blitz

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