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Developing Black Belt Change Agents

The role of a Black Belt is typically described as a Change Agent and the two terms are frequently used interchangeably. Why then, if the change agent role is such an important part of the Black Belt identity, do we spend four to six months training the Black Belt candidates with maybe, just a few hours of…

Organizing Your Quality Life

Getting your “quality” life in order is no easy task. Project meetings, staff meetings, tollgate reviews, and business deliverables can wreak havok on our daily lives. Sometimes it seems as if there is nothing we can do to stay organized – until now. Just as we teach our businesses that processes are necessary to increase productivity,…

Developing Change Leadership by Leveraging Experience

The ability to manage and lead organizational change is in itself a competitive advantage. While companies often have the resources to execute individual improvement projects, the limiting factor in many change efforts is having enough talent to replicate, sustain and expand change efforts once they have been successfully piloted. Companies can leverage existing investments in…

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Business Belt: Integrating Six Sigma and Business Sense

As Six Sigma continues to be adopted and integrated across the spectrum of global businesses, from manufacturing, to finance, to pharmaceuticals, it is important to recognize the evolution of the role of the Six Sigma professional within those businesses. Traditionally, Black Belts and Master Black Belts were expected to be experts on applying the tools…

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The Initial Focus – Strategy or Projects?

Organizations often have a strategy and process improvement program in place, but eventually start seeing signs of waning momentum. The organizations experience a familiar realization that it is difficult to sustain improvements. Organizations including hospitals and health systems have encountered similar challenges. It is not easy to launch a major change initiative in healthcare, and…

Project Management Plays an Important Role in Six Sigma

The title Black Belt implies that a person carries the knowledge and experience of Six Sigma methodologies, tools and processes. These are the skills necessary for supporting an organization in implementing solutions that help streamline processes, eliminate waste or provide cost savings, to name a few. While Black Belts are technically advanced in the Six…

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Coach-like Mentors Achieve Greater Effectiveness

Black Belts seldom have authority to direct the teams, sponsors and leaders they work with. Therefore, as a full-time change agent, today’s Black Belt needs excellent soft skills to move things forward from their position within the team. At the top of that skills list are coaching and mentoring. By blending these two disciplines, Black…

Set SMART Goals to Better Manage Time

Time management is a common sore spot among many Six Sigma practitioners. The typical complaint: “I spend most of my time on my day-to-day responsibilities – my Six Sigma projects – and then my personal life suffers.” The question is: How can practitioners best manage all of their tasks and priorities? While time cannot be…

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Making Good Change Agents: Attitude, Knowledge, Skills

When a business leader realizes that his organization is in need of significant change, one of the first and most critical actions is to appoint a team to spearhead a change initiative. Typically, a Six Sigma team’s leadership consists of project sponsor, with overall responsibility, seconded by project managers who focus on specific aspects. These…

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