ISSSP Leadership Conference: SBTI Workshop

This is my first post from the ISSSP 6th Annual Six Sigma Leadership Conference. I’ll be attending the four-day event in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA mingling with the Six Sigma community and, of course, blogging.

Today, Steve Zinkgraf and Debby Sollenberger of Sigma Breakthrough Technologies (SBTI) delivered a workshop called “Program Revitalization – The Next Evolution of your Six Sigma and Lean Program”. Steve called heavily upon the legacy of Larry Bossidy at AlliedSignal and quoted quite a bit from his latest books. Bossidy said that initiatives are the change mechanisms of companies and to effectively lead an initiative you must:

  • Learn the guts of it
  • Invest time and energy
  • Pick the right people to initiate it
  • Be courageous

This advice applies to all initiatives, not just Six Sigma.

Debby talked about some of the signals that tell you the program could use a rejuvenating boost. Some of the participant comments included a dry project pipeline, Six Sigma resources not being made available and funds for training drying up. She also advised a way to reinvigorate the deployment by extending its reach to include:

  • Functional processes (such as HR, Marketing, Sales and Legal)
  • More employees (process owners, awareness training)
  • Adding additional methodologies such as DFSS and LEAN
  • Supply Chain
  • Customers

These suggestions are the building blocks of a mature program. Countless companies have followed these steps and have built successful and lasting initiatives.

Steve closed with the “Band of Brothers” speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V. Recited boldly just as if he were leading an army (he exchanged a few words to give it a humorous Six Sigma twist) he offered it as a speech to reinvigorate the Six Sigma soldiers who may have been defeated by the enemy of a complacent initiative.

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It was a very informative andentertaining session. What made the session valuable was the interaction of the participants. The sharing of success stories and lessons learned was a highlight for me. I enjoy learning all I can about how companies are using Six Sigma to improve their business.

So stick with me over the next few days as I blog the happenings in Scottsdale. If you can’t attend the conference, this will be the next best thing.

Comments 2

  1. Mike Carnell

    A Keynote presentation was made by Timothy C. Tyson, President and CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals on Tuesday, June 28. This was the most impressive presentation I have seen by a “C” level manager in the last 5 years. He displayed an intimate knowledge of not only his organization but also of Six Sigma and how Six Sigma was adding value to his organization.

    The most impressive part of the presentation was that rather than the typical approach of “we’re different and here is what we have done to compensate” the presentation focused on where the pharmaceutical industry created opportunities for those companies that were willing to step back from business as usual and question the “as is” condition and make opportunities for competitive breakthroughs.

    He created a business case around the reduction of cycle time in bringing a product to market and demonstrated the role that a top level executive should play when they are committed to transforming the culture of a company.

    The Valeant story can easily be used as an example of Best Practice for any business.

  2. ValeantEx

    The real "Valeant" story is that Six Sigma didn’t do squat to create value for the company. The business case that Tim created around reducing the cycle time in bringing a product to market was a bust. In truth, all six sigma did for Valeant was to transfer wealth from the company to a whole bunch of Tyson’s six sigma cronies.

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