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  • #32864

    George Nicholas
    Participant

    Comment: There seems to be enormous growth in the training and number ofBlack Belts working throughout business and industry, and the careergrowth potential many if not all enjoy in this specialty. Can anyone guideme to any comments, references or resources that might help document this growing trend with the number of BBs that exist, thecareer and compensation potential, and the overall impact and implications on business, industry and the economy?Thank you very much – George [email protected]

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    #88258

    Mikel
    Member

    Help us understand why you are interested, please.

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    #88260

    George Nicholas
    Participant

    Hello Stan.  Thanks for your message.  I write a lot about Six Sigma and want to do an article that makes the point that Six Sigma training is good for your career.
    I’m looking for information that supports this premise with hard facts and for people who can tell me how Six Sigma has helped them advance their careers.
    If you can help I’d be grateful.
    George

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    #88262

    Mikel
    Member

    Just some food for thougtht – Six Sigma is not good for everyone’s career. I see two distinct groups where this is true:
    1) Six Sigma is a program of the month (>50% of the implementations) – the group that doesn’t like or embrace here are your true change agents, they are miserable and find roles within their company where there is more than lip service. The box checkers (yep, I am a BB to go with my ASQ and APICS certification) like this in that it is relatively painless.
    2) Non change agents are chosen for change agent roles in a serious company (I think this is 2/3 of the people trained as BB’s since 1995) – the role of change agent is a predictable personality type, not everyone can do it and not all that can do it, enjoy doing it. You will find most trained as BB’s do not reengage after training unless the company forces the issue.
    Can it be documented that being a BB or MBB has accelerated careers and salaries? Yes, but we are only talking about a small portion of those trained. Look at careers of AlliedSignal trained MBB’s, Sequa trained MBB’s, Seagate trained MBB’s, or many of the thousands (yes thousands) of GE trained BB’s that are in positions of great authority, responsibility, and salary today. The interesting thing to me is many did not enjoy the BB role but used it as a stepping stone when moving to a new company. It is also interesting that the GE trained BB’s either fall flat on their face (about 50%) or have average results (another 1/3) when going to a new company.

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    #88264

    Doubtful
    Participant

    Wow Stan.  Those are some impressive stats on GE BB’s. Do you actually have data?  How many BB’s have they trained?  How many have fallen flat on their faces?  How do you define that?
    Interesting that you mention Sequa. You sure do know a lot about different deployments for a guy who doesn’t claim to be tied to a consulting company (lest you be accused of self-promotion from previous posts). 
     

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    #88266

    Mike Archer
    Participant

    Stan,
    In the short time that I have been reading the posts in this forum, I have noticed that there is a lot of attention paid to discussing people’s motives in SS training.  I have been through GB training and would like to explore the possibility of BB training in the future.  I don’t want to become a BB that falls flat on my face, so could you help me evaluate my motives?… or any seasoned BB is asked to reply to this message.
    I am interested in Six Sigma for several reasons:  I would like the certification for my resume (I will admit that I want to enjoy a nice career).  I also enjoy problem solving.  I want to see SS work for my company (I want the company to enjoy success).  I have a fascination with the way the tooling works (I think that it is just plain cool).  I believe that I can be valuable to the program (but I’m not sure).  I think that I am capable of learning and using the science (however, statistics is no where close to being a passion for me).
    In your experience, am I someone who will do well embarking on a career that SS is an important part of, or will it be a disastrous path for me.  I seriously want to know.  Feel free to ask more questions about me.
    TIA
    Mike

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    #88284

    Mikel
    Member

    Wow doubtful, I did not know you loved me so much.
    Yes, I do have a statistically significant sample of former GE BB’s. Do you?
    And yes, I do happen to know of the fate of Sequa and Seagate MBB’s. >75% of both have moved well beyond what their career looked like going into BB training. Might have happened anyway, but most are in jobs that were not on the same path they were on before training.

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    #88295

    Mikel
    Member

    Mike,
    Just to clarify, I am intrigued not so much by motives or motivation, but by what drives a person has. I think drives are something that is hard wired into a person the second they are conceived, things that cannot be changed internally and if behaviors change for an external response, they are at best temporary and stressful.
    Some simple examples are mothers sending inward looking, reflective daughers to finishing school to make them more social – doesn’t work. Getting a person who likes conflict to avoid conflict – doesn’t work (lobotomy is always an option). Getting mutitasking impatient people to have a single long term forcus – doesn’t work. Getting people who see black & white to see shades of gray – doesn’t work. Why? Because these are all hard coded drives.
    So what does this have to do with the job of a change agent? Simple, there are drives that are reliable predictors of the ability to change the momentum of something that does not want to change. There is statistically significant data that shows the best change agents are hard wired to be dominant and impatient. Are you?
    It is also intriguing to me that the caracteristics of a good change agent are not characteristics of a good team player and not characteristics of a good sustainer. Horses for courses – find the right people for what the job needs. Smart people can fill any role for a short period of time, but a person who avoids conflict and needs to focus on only one thing at a time will burn out quickly in a chage agents role.

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    #88297

    Doubtful
    Participant

    No, I don’t have GE data.  I didn’t claim to.  Your statements seemed pretty broad to me.  I’d love to see your data.  Again, how many samples do you have?  How many BB’s are in the population?  How representative is your sample?  How do you define success?  I’ve seen you challenge other people to show you data in previous posts.  I am making the same request of you.
    As for Sequa, I think you missed the point (or ignored it).
    By the way, the other stuff you posted to George was excellent.     

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    #88299

    Mike Archer
    Participant

    Stan,
    Would you say that a person’s drives should be the number 1 thing that they consider prior to committing to BB training (isn’t one’s abilities almost equally important)?  And how well should their personality line up with the profile you describe as a “true change agent” (partially, mostly, completely)?
    I tend to be a perfectionist, and my quality of work really suffers if I have to divide my attention too much.  You pointed out that having a need to be dominating and feeling impatient can be positive characteristics.  Good news for me, those have been character flaws of mine in most of life’s situations, but I do hate distraction.  I still feel like Six Sigma is a direction I want to go and that I could realize some success in it.  Your thoughts please.
    Mike

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    #88300

    former ge bb
    Participant

    stan – love to see yoru data on the ge bb’s who “fall flat on their faces” at other companies….sounds like sour grapes to me.  Flashy language does not make you more credible either.

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    #88305

    Link from C Town
    Participant

    I have to agree with Stan. I work at a large company that has hired many former GE BBs who have not impressed me at all. Being new to six sigma it took my company a while to see through a lot of misinformation. In fact I’m stating to believe the rumor that the credo of GM BBs is  “if you can’t dazzle them with brillance baffle them with bs”.

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    #88314

    Spiderman
    Member

    Stan…
    I think you miss the boat on being a successful change agent/ BB.  I am a former GE type BB..and am doing quite well in my new position.  I disagree with your personality profile of a successful change agent.  I would venture to say that type of change agent you describe is probably not as successful as you think.  Successful change agents win the hearts and minds of the company, and it is done with the help of the CEO and other senior leaders.  Without senior leadership backing, it will fail.   

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    #88317

    Mikel
    Member

    Thank you.
    I did miss the point on Seagate – what was it?
    On the GE data – a little explanation. Everyone seems to have a quirk – some need to feel superior to all those around them, some need to interfere with others personal lifes, some can’t stand up for themselves. I’ve got two that I can see – first is my overwhelming need to be sarcastic and the second is I keep data on some obscure things. For example, when I have the chance to meet a significant portion of a companies MBB population, I always try to get email addresses and track their movements for a few years. I also started running into executives that hire former GE employees with SS experience thinking they have tapped into the holy grail about six years ago. I try to get their email addresses and keep up their feelings of their silver bullets as reality sets in. I have data on the ‘feelings” about 163 of these folks. Not exactly variable data but as good as any marketing survey, The woes of the former GE execs in their next job have been well documented in the past six months as well.
    Does this mean the GE folks are not for real? Probably not, but there is no such thing as instant culture – it takes years. The folks these former GE guys are trying to change could care less about how they did it at GE.

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    #88318

    Mikel
    Member

    Mike,
    I’d say go for it, Just know that as a full time BB, your management will expect several projects in various stages at any one time. Each project will have several things going at once,

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    #88319

    Mikel
    Member

    Flashy language?
    You think something I wrote was flashy?
    Do people need to speak slowly around you?

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    #88321

    Bee
    Participant

    Dear Stan,
    I may be in a minority here, but I would tend to agree with you.
    I am in a BB role with my company – as a Sales & Mktg. functional specialist and I would definitely include ‘impatient’ and ‘dominant’ (even aggressive’) amongst the words to describe myself.
    Considering I was ‘hand-picked’ for the role of change-agent, it seems my company management agrees with your train of thought.
    In addition to the above ‘hard-wired’ traits, tenacity and ability to multi-task are also a must-have set of traits needed for this role.
    Nothwithstanding anything said above, I firmly believe that a high degree of ‘soft-skills’ are also needed to carry out this role successfully, considering the people / intention barriers a change-agent is bound to face.
    Bee
     

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    #88326

    Mikel
    Member

    Bee,
    Thank you.
    I agree with the tenacity and the multitasking.
    Some people don’t need soft skill training – they are natural team players. Dominant, impatient people are not good team players, thus the need for soft skills.
    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I should be worth nothing that I also keep data on this. On this one I have about 600 data points with the data base growing every month. Again the judge of a “good” BB is the opinion of those they work for.

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