I recently spoke at a Lean Six Sigma Conference for Services hosted by the American Strategic Management Institute (ASMI). One of the morning speakers started her presentation by taking a quick survey. She went around the room and asked everyone three questions . . . What industry are you from? How long has your company been involved in Lean Six Sigma? What is your personal level of Lean Six Sigma knowledge? She charted each person’s answer as they spoke. Although it took a few moments to work through the crowd of about fifty plus people, it was a marvelous way to demonstrate the value and power of Voice of the Customer and here’s why.

  • The activity engaged everyone in the audience. They were now “part” of something – not just a “spectator.”
  • The information helped each delegate with their own networking activities. Immediately following the session you could see people from like industries converging and trading business cards. You could also see some of the ‘newbies’ seek out the more experienced delegates.
  • And as a subsequent speaker I could now customize my approach to more closely fit the customer’s profile – speaking in terms that helped me better connect with the audience/customer.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the number of companies that were just starting their Lean Six Sigma journey. For me, this was just another affirmation of its staying power. After all these years, Lean Six Sigma continues to be the method of choice for driving excellence throughout the business world, no matter what type of business – from health-care to soft-ware to house-ware – Lean Six Sigma is making a difference every-where.

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