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Black Belt Repatriation

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  • #48832

    Deployment Leader
    Participant

    I’m searching for a proven roadmap for repatriating Black Belts. We have experienced sporadic success to date. Any ideas or strategies are welcome and appreciated.

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    #165674

    Lolita
    Participant

    Wht  do  you  mean  by “repatriating”?thanks

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    #165677

    Deployment Leader
    Participant

    Repatriation means an employees who has left a day to day functional role to become a Black Belt returns back to the business into the same or another functional role of some kind. The ideal situation is a promotional opportunity given the development of the employee through his or her experience as a Black Belt. They “repatriate” back into the business. Similar to someone who is an ex-patriate when they take an overseas assignment. When they return to their home country, they repatriate.

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    #165680

    Miriam Mansfield
    Participant

    So are they being promoted at the same overseas location where they worked as blackbelts?

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    #165692

    Brandon
    Participant

    DL – this is a challenge that is impacted by the growth rate of your firm. As I’m sure you know, if you’re growing rapidly a number of position opportunities become available and it is not such a challenge to place the BB.
    My only suggestion is that HR be engaged in this as an ongoing activity. They should maintain a register of your BB’s and their primary skill sets – engineer, line mgr, acctg, etc. They should be cognitive of the up coming need to place a BB at least 6 mos prior to the role change. They can work this “pool” of talent into their sourcing plans.
    Aside from that, there is no magic to the “2 yr” BB assignment. If an operating position is not immediately available at the 2 yr point, then let the BB keep practicing SS (presuming you have need for that) until a position is found.
    Lead time is your friend in this situation.

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    #165709

    BTDT
    Participant

    DL:The biggest problem we find is when weaker candidates are potentially returning into the workforce. This occurs after the first few waves of future leaders have been trained and are completing projects.External consulting companies will encourage more and more training as the engagement progresses. This creates the problem of having large numbers of BBs completing their rotations at once.This creates a number of problems with the long term success of the program 2-3 years after the initial launch.HR must be involved early to firstly identify BB candidates, but more importantly, to define the career path for successful AND unsuccessful BBs.Repatriation is not always a given, you will need your own internally trained, technical-guru type MBB to sustain the program after the consultants have left. These people usually identify themselves after a few years.Cheers, Alastair

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    #165713

    Lolita
    Participant

    Thank you

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    #165983

    Fontanilla
    Participant

    I’m a newly repatriated Master Black Belt.  It was a huge struggle to get back into Engineering.  The Director I worked under demanded I essentially replace myself!  Without a succession plan, I was going nowhere.  I worked at training others worldwide to assume the things I did and to make the regions self-sufficient.  Finally, in July, I said move me or I leave (well, not in so many words but the implication was there).  And, I was moved!  I didn’t go through HR.  I went to other Directors and asked if they had a position for me.  Therefore, I went job-hunting within my own company.  I have a very good reputation and was quickly taken by the group I wanted to get into.  It does however, highlight an important lack of planning on our continuous improvement group.  The original plan was 3-5 years as a Black Belt but when the end of the time period came, they were unwilling to let me go.  I had to force the issue.

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    #166036

    Repatriate ToBe
    Participant

    Great question.  I’m a Black Belt who will be repatriated in a year…hopefully.  Unlike other posts, in my company, HR doesn’t have that big of a role in facilitating the repatriation of a Black Belt back into the company in a non-Black Belt role.  What I have noticed from the previous posts is no mention of the champion or the master black belt.  These are two key people who have to be actively involved in the repatriation of Black Belts.  If you want other people to be “turned off” on Six Sigma, allow a couple of bad repatriations to take place.  This causes negative PR that will adversely affect the enrollment of future black belts.
    The Champion and Master Black Belt have to do continuous career counseling with their Black Belts.  They are in the best position to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of their Black Belts.  The Champion and Master Black Belt should create a development plan that will strengthen the skillset of the Black Belt to allow a better repatriation.  Additionally, the Champion and Master Black Belt must continuously promote the great works of the Black Belt to upper management.  They MUST do a selling job on the virtues of all of the Black Belts under their cognizance.
    Finally, the Champion and Master Black Belt must then liaison with HR to help facilitate the repatriation of the Black Belt.  The business can’t always assume HR will do everything…it’s just not feasible.
    One last thought…the Black Belt must not soley rely on the Champion, Master Black Belt, and HR to do his/her career planning.  As one poster mentioned, the Black Belt will need to do his/her share of selling.

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