In a world where I could call myself the Senior Master of the Highest Order of Black Belts, I have always been a little circumspect of using the Black Belt handle. So after 18 months the time has come. I can now call myself a Six Sigma Black Belt! I have been accredited by our businesses MBB’s and receive my award next week.

Have I earned it? Well I think the answer is yes. I have helped implement the infrastructure (built the web-site, organised the conferences, managed the training etc.), provided project mentoring, assisted in delivering training and most importantly delivered strategic projects. But I think the single most important reason is the sheer amount of knowledge I have gained through studying, in my own time, the ASQ syllabus. I now feel I have a good grounding in the subject.

When I first started I thought gaining the ASQ certification was critical and went hell-for-leather to acquire as much knowledge as I could to fast track a certification. However I became much more relaxed when I realised that I was in this for the long-term. I could push hard and get an early certification or I could use the syllabus as a catalyst for doing deep-dives into complex material. There are parts of the syllabus that I know absolutely nothing e.g. axiomatic design, TRIZ, and response surface methodology. Is it stopping me being successful? No. Do I want to learn it? Yes, at some point.

So I hope there will come a point on my journey when I will take the ASQ exam.

As the world’s greatest master black belt said: “It is like a finger pointing toward the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”

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