I had the pleasure of being invited to the Northwest Quality Forum on Wednesday (3 Aug 2005). It’s an informal group of like-minded peers (deployment champions and regional leaders) in the Seattle area that get together every other month to discuss Six Sigma, Lean, management, leadership, change management and related issues faced by their organizations. Participating companies include: Amazon, Boeing, Expedia, Honeywell, Macys, Microsoft, Starwood, Sheraton, Sterling Savings Bank, and Washington Mutual.

I gave a presentation entitled “Why CEOs Can’t Afford to Ignore Six Sigma,” which is the Power Point presentation that followed from the article I wrote for Executive Decision magazine a few months ago. I added information to the presentation since we’ve completed more research after the article was written — information like the financial benefits associated with Design for Six Sigma projects by company size and some ROI calculations.

After my presentation, the majority of the meeting was spent discussing a list of agenda topics (e.g. customizing a program, training, roles/structure, project selection, communication, etc.) for about 20 minutes a piece. The open dialogue that took place on general deployment issues was spirited, sometimes passionate, and definitely interesting. Ideas were shared, success (and failure) stories were told, and everyone walked away with some new ideas and closer ties to others in the local community. It’s a great opportunity to get together — face to face — with peers, and not have any associated travel and living expenses.

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