Black Belt Image

Recently, I had an interesting conversationwith the editor of our facility newsletter. She was looking for short articles for the next edition, and I asked if she thought people would be interested in some tips for email organization. Simple stuff, like sorting your inbox by sender so you can take care of your boss’s communication first.

She thought it was a great idea, andI sent her a few tips. A few minutes later, she sent me back aquestion.

“Looks good to me, although do you think it will be odd for a Black Belt to be talking about minor administrative issues like these? We wouldn’t want to undermine your position/image.”

Well, I thought that it was very nice of her to care about my image, but, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry at the question.

It did make me ask myself, what’sthe imageof Black Belt that she was concerned about? Thatwe only use Lean and Six Sigmafor big team-based problem-solving projects? I think it’s also perfectly appropriate to look for efficient ways to handle even minor administrative details!

As it turned out, she ran the articlecrediting me (which was perfectly ok as far as I’m concerned).

Have any of you run into image issues of this nature? It would be interesting if you would share your stories!

Comments 2

  1. Ron

    Indeed. I helped train some admins on 5S and they attacked their file rooms, etc. Of course this wasn’t nearly important enough for some folks out there. No worries though… if people want to make things better I am there to help them. It’s my job after all!

  2. Mike Carnell

    A team of Executive Assistants used this same project during the BHP Billiton deployment. It made sense and was actually a high impact project but difficult to measure the effect, which really did not matter to us.

    Complaints concerning email volume are almost a common issue anywhere in the organization. The Executive Assistants were probably the most efficient at cutting through the nonsense to those that were most important. They trained everyone interested in the techniques they used. Great results. Nobody denied the impact even without the benefit calculation.

    Why would sharing a best practice at email adversely affect anyone’s image?

    Just my opinion.

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