I was very honored to have been nominated for the iSixSigma MVP Award for “Best Blogger” – given the high quality of my fellow nominees, Robin Barnwell and Gianna Clark, I was not expecting to receive this recognition! Attending the iSixSigma Live! conference was a blast, and I had a lot of fun and met a lot of great people(and learned a lot) in addition to the pleasure of receiving this reward. The recognition items were great – the Cox Box mug from 10/15/07 and a mousepad with a quote from W. Edwards Deming: “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, then you don’t know what you’re doing.” Priceless.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has posted blogs – I’m constantly learning from your contributions – and to those who have contributed to the blogs by posting responses. Your willingness to put your thoughts “out there” helps to broaden the discussion and is valuable to all readers.

I was able to meet Michael Marx and Michael Cyger in person, and I’d like to thank them as well for their support and encouragement during my tenure as blogger here. I related the following story to Michael Marx and he told me to write about it in my blog, so here it is!

When I was a Clinical Laboratory Manager at a former employer, in 2003, the organization decided to try something new to help improve its quality. A notice was sent out to all leaders regarding the introduction of something called “Six Sigma” and the need for four new “Black Belts” to lead hospital-wide process improvement projects. There wasn’t any job description, yet, and no salary decisions had been made, and there was no career path developed. Well, I decided that regardless of the lack of specifics, I was ready to try out for it. I’d been doing change projects for a long time time in my career, and felt that I could step up to the next level. But, I didn’t know anything about Six Sigma – and what the heck was a Black Belt if not an expert in karate?

I wanted to appear knowledgeable in my interview, so I went to the public library and took out “Lean Six Sigma” by Michael George. Then I went on-line and searched for “Six Sigma.” One of the first sites that came up was iSixSigma.com. I found a lot of information there, and it became my best resource for information such as – 10 attributes of Black Belts, how come they’re called Black Belts, what is Six Sigma, and so forth. As a result, I went into the interview knowing a little more (dare I say it) than the interviewers, and in fact I was brave (or foolish) enough to tell the panel that I didn’t think their case study merited a Six Sigma project, since the scope looked more appropriate for a WorkOut. (Well, that gave them the idea that I wasn’t afraid to take risks, anyway!) In spite of this, they liked what they saw and when they asked me where I had learned about Six Sigma, I told them I’d done a lot of research on-line and my primary source was iSixSigma.com! The rest, as they say, is history and I was on my way to being a Wave I Six Sigma Black Belt.

I never would have guessed that I would be a blogger for iSixSigma a few years after that. My first blog was posted in April 2006 and I hope to continue for a long time to come!

Thanks again everyone for responding to my posts and for sharing your great ideas in this forum!

–Sue Kozlowski

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