iSixSigma

GE/Black Belt for mgr. promotions

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General GE/Black Belt for mgr. promotions

Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #29033

    Sinnicks
    Participant

    Folks:
    I understand that GE requires a black belt for any managerial promotions for employees. I heard this from an ex-GE friend.
    If I am engineering best practices for transforming my company into a Six Sigma organization, do you think I should pitch this GE practice to my HR SVP?
    Or, is it possible that mandating black belts among the ranks might not produce the desired result, and that other ways of promoting Six Sigma might be more beneficial.
    Thanks,Mark

    0
    #73332

    walden
    Participant

    Mark,
    That’s an interesting point you bring up. But you have to realize that GE is a unique culture, and one that not many other companies can duplicate. They spend nearly a billion dollars a year on training (I think that’s the right number), and I can only imagine how much money they’ve spent on their Six Sigma program during the last 7 years (material development, training, certification, bonus structure, systems to promote, etc.).
    I don’t think that you can simple take a “best practice” like this from GE and implement it in any other company. Here are a few questions that might help you:

    Do you offer Six Sigma training to all exempt employees, regardless of their position?
    Can anyone become a black belt in your organization if they show a desire, leadership capabilities, strategic thinking, etc.?
    Does your HR department have a process to rank employees based on performance (GE is often referred to as a meritocracy)? Do they have succession plans for all promotion opportunities?
    I hear that GE is doing these types of promotions because they are trying to create “six sigma thinking” management, all talking the same talk, walking the same walk. Are you trying to do this?
    Maybe you should start by tying bonuses to quality performance metrics (process management, reduction in defects, etc.) That will probably be a big enough fish to fry for your HR team (or maybe not).
    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    Chris

    0
    #73334

    bubba
    Participant

    Theoretically, it’s a great idea to have BB training as a requirement for mgmt positions.  Unfortunately, the $1M cost savings per BB is becoming a quota etched in stone.  This encourages Enron-style bookkeeping, glory-grabbing and host of other related evils.  Funny, but if you took the total managers in an organization times the $1M savings /yr, many companies would have savings greater than their actual expenditures each year.

    0
    #73355

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Mark,
    Why would you do something because GE did it? You need to decide what you want. Do you want evertone who ever intends to get promoted to be involved? Probably. Do you want them to all be Black Belts? Probably not. How are you going to deal with all the change? GE was a long way down this evolutionary scale when they did Six Sigma. They are fun to watch but they can be deadly to emulate.
    Just back up and decide what you want the response to be and then decide on what the right thing to do is?
    Good Luck.

    0
    #73375

    RR Kunes
    Member

    If you are going to implement six sigma don’t follow the GE methodology unless you company philosophy and sophistication with process improvement is at or near the same level as GE.
    Countless examples exist of unsuccessful implementation models because they followed a structure that has been around for a while.
    Tailor your six sigma implementation strategy to your company. Start by the formation of a six sigma coucil which is comprised of your CEO and his directs include your MBB’s and map out your strategy.
    If Jack Welch didn’t force it down GE’s throat it would not have worked at GE either.
     

    0
    #128135

    Al ODonnell
    Participant

    I came from the GE invironment and of course received my Blackbelt. I implemented the Six Sigma methods at my new company in 2004 and we are yielding good results. The one requirement for sucessful implementation, is to have full support from the top. I recieved that from the beginning and fact it was my requirment for even starting the effort. I too have seen unsuccessful implementation. I suggest you use the methods but style it for the size and requirements of your company…………..be creative. I have focused on Greenbelts, as likely there will not only one or two Blackbelts here at my facility.

    0
    #128138

    nothing special
    Participant

    “I have focused on Greenbelts”
    To me green belt focus is a defining characteristic of successes like GE.  When i was at GE, being a green belt meant something.  All of the green belts used six sigma tools almost daily.  It was a way of life.  I think the prepared Green belt is WAAAAAY under rated.  Every body wants a slew of black belts.  Everybody wants to be a black belt.  With good green belts you will get more bang for your buck with your black belts. 
    I was shocked at how being a green belt meant almost nothing to an employer i interviewed with.  I got a job for a diffeent role and when I ran into some of the Black belts i was again shocked at how poorly they were prepared.  I was a pure green belt and i knew a LOT more than every black belt the company had. 
    I really wish everybody would stop focusing so much on the black belt.  Black Belts are not the only tool for deployment OR sustainability.  Functional green belts…throughout the company…is where its at.
     

    0
    #128143

    Functional GB
    Participant

    The Six Sigma culture at GE varies from location to location and within departments at the same location.
    Enforcing the BB/MBB certification requirement for Managers has it’s flip side:

    Some managers who are not “Six Sigma inclined” simply “delegate” the certification requirements (like training, mentoring role etc..)
    There are several managers who are least interested in driving Six Sigma once they are certified
    Certification based on hierarchy leads to a number-game that has limited utility.
    I agree with “Nothing Special” that encouraging and promoting Functional GBs would be a better apporach than enforcing BB/MBB certification requirements for Managers.

    0
    #128154

    CT
    Participant

    GE is just another in long list of companies that promote and hire based on education not performance. Although being a Black Belt must surely mean you have focus and organization that makes you automatically a leader?  My current company has taken the steps to train almost every salary employee in the Green Belt Six Sigma methodology. Now is that the right thing to do, dont know the jury is still out, but I do see problems with it. Number 1, having 32 GB’s in the same plant all doing projects is a nightmare for the 2 BB’s and 1MBB whom are also doing projects of our own. Number 2, the time and effort required is not something most supervisors have the ability to do effectively. Number 3, alot of the projects cross each other and some outcomes become the same, and are waiting on another projects outcome to finish. Lack of planning, and trying to use SS to solve every issue (forcing six sigma to work for everything). So How far do you take it?
    GE I think has taken Six Sigma one step further because they ran out of anything else to do with it. The message they send is this: Education is a substitute for experience. I for one think this is wrong. But, I’m sure others will disagree. I see both sides of the coin, I just prefer the other, but I guess thats why I dont work for GE.
    Just My Opinion
    CT
     

    0
    #128157

    nothing special
    Participant

    I’m not certain that you know what you are talking about.
    First…my education lacks the punch of a major university and i was hired at GE based SOLELY on experience in the area they needed help.  My education was barely discussed during the interview and has never been since being hired.
    Second..if you have 32 GB’s crossing paths then you arent using them correctly.  My team at GE had around 70 people on it and everybody on the team had a green belt minimum.  We never crossed paths because we were working on functional projects in OUR OWN area.  There would be no reason for aybody else to be working on the dfss for the interior liner that I was on because nobody else was working on it.  The only time we even remotely crossed paths was during gap analysis for assembly and top downs.  Even then it was a collaboration and we were just verifying what we both thought was correct in regards to our OWN designs and area of responsibilty.
    It sounds to me like you have GB’s doing projects outside of their functional area.  Unless they are on a specific team being facilitated by a BB then they should not be doing anything outside of their functional area.  If they are working in their functional area like they should be then they should be very little burden to a BB/MBB if properly trained.
    It also sounds like your company needs to manage its project database a little more effectively.  It also needs to clearly differentiate roles.
    thanks
    ns

    0
    #128158

    nothing special
    Participant

    forgot to mention that I got promoted a year or so ago and my education is the same as it was the day I walked through the magical GE door.
     

    0
    #128159

    CT
    Participant

    Nothing Special
    I love it when people take it personel. Lets review. The question was asked by Mark, and in a supporting statement he said GE has implemented performance criteria by which SR Managerial positions require a Black Belt, and his question was should he pitch that to his HR Dept? Or would this cause Undesired results?
    I simply believe it is the wrong thing to do. My Opinion, Nough said.
    Second, I believe as you do and agree totally that Green Belts are way under rated, but too much focus can be troubling. I’ve seen it, thats why I said it.
    Third, Six Sigma when used properly for different projects means you are trying to find answers to unknowns, to hopefully save the company money. By having multiple projects running at the same time, it is only natural that some projects will cross paths if the data points them in that direction.
    Yes we do have Green Belts that are working somewhat out of their functional areas, Is this bad? Yes I think it is. Can I do anything about? No I cant, so it is what it is.
    You also made mention that WHEN you WHERE at GE (Meaning Past Tense) that Green belts meant something. Congratulations on your promotion. Are you SR Managment? Because thats what the question was about. If so then the original statement from Mark is False, Which I know that it is not. You also make mention ” I was a pure green belt and i knew a LOT more than every black belt the company had”   Once again a past tense statement. So are you a BB or MBB, You say you have focused mainly on GB’s, I assume you mean now in your new job you are a BB or MBB meaning you where probably promoted on the basis of completeing such training???
    Have a Nice Day
    CT

    0
    #128160

    Mikel
    Member

    It is pretty impressive that while interviewing with a company you were able to assess the capability of every BB they had and know you knew more. You must be good!

    0
    #128162

    nothing special
    Participant

    Read a little closer.  You missed the part where i stated that i GOT a job and worked with the bb’s at the company on some projects.  In working directly with them it was easy to see their lack of knowledge.
    Maybe i didnt comunicate it well but what i was trying to demonstrate was that this (and a lot of others) company was carrying the six sigma torch and I felt like a solid green belt should be viewed as an asset to them since they had a six sigma program.  I wasnt there interviewing for a six sigma job.  The fact that they discounted it and pretty much just waved it off like “pffft green belt” troubled me.  The job i was interviewng for was development and there are plenty of opportunities to use ss tools.  I never laid claim to being “good”.  Only that they were not.
    ns
     

    0
    #128163

    nothing special
    Participant

    I’m not sure how you thought i took it personal.  I was only adding my experience that GE did not hire/promote only on the basis of education.
    I probably should have just started this as a new thread.  I had no intention of answering Marks question and made no visible attempt to do so.  I was merley making a general comment about how sad it is that the green belt step is just dismissed by most companies.  The green belt is the foundation of GE and the fact that people trying to emulate them just skip over it is hilarious.
    I never said that I have focused on GB’s.  I said gb focus was a defining characteristic (to me) of the best deployments.
    I happen to be a BB and the company I’m currently at does NOT have a foundaton of GB’s and I’m working to change that.
    ns
     

    0
    #128164

    joeBB
    Participant

    You found someone you have something in common

    0
    #128165

    joeBB
    Participant

    I forgot to add StanBoy, the little man who knows everything.

    0
    #128193

    Art
    Participant

    Good ole stanley boy…..GE has an acronym for Stan…..”C3″

    0
Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)

The forum ‘General’ is closed to new topics and replies.