Hiring from the US, rather than UK / France

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums Europe Hiring from the US, rather than UK / France

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  John M 15 years, 1 month ago.

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    B T

    I was wondering if any UK or French companies (we have offices in both geos) are contemplating hiring black belts from the US in order to have an experienced and proven team of Six Sigma leaders during their deployment? Is this a typical scenario? We were thinking of hiring a foreign national for a two year term and then return him/her home. Is this a good idea and if not, what are the downsides?


    Arne Buthmann

    Dear BT,
    From my experience in different companies (as a Six Sigma consultant) I would not recommend to hire Black Belts from US, but to quickly qualify your own BBs. External BBs will never have (and will at least 1-2 years need to build up) the same organisational knowledge as your own employees have. A Black Belt needs more than just technical and mathematicsl Six Sigma skills to succeed, but all that personal characterisitcs as

    willingness to embrace change and new ideas
    tough, resilient, and able to persuade others
    ability to work at multiple levels within the organization
    ability to communicate at all levels
    ability to promote the key messages of pace, results and sustainability in all activities
    ability to quickly grasp the bigger picture of company’s business drivers and infrastructure
    These ‘softer’ competencies are more difficult to apply for BB unexperienced of your company’s behaviours and culture (even if he or she has those abilities in general).
    If you plan to hire external Black Belts, than better recruite them within Europe and take French and UK national BBs instead. From my experience the Black Belts should at least have the same language as well as the same cultural background since even global acting companies always have national cultures. For example, we’ve experienced that American (Six Sigma) teams differ from French teams regarding their pace of change and their dealing with change: from an American perspective French teams push change initiatives much slower than US teams would do, what often may cause frustrations on the American side.
    Six Sigma is quite established in Europe and well educated Six Sigma experts are available in France, the UK etc. as well.
    Kind regards,



    Arne highlighted lot of  success key factors
    Whatever is your choice about hiring US guys or European ones, I will add some comments:
    In Europe in general, France in particular, employees are reluctant to changes.
    This natural resistance start from top Management  (often not really convinced about 6 Sigma power) to shop floor.
    As mentionned by Arne, US way of work is “let’s do it, let’s try”. In Europe you will have first the all explanations phase about “why this can not work well”
    From this point of view, US BBs, GBs have far better positive attitude.
    I would suggest that maybe the best way is to use a compromise: to find an European guy who have been educated in 6 Sigma by a US company, preferably in US, and who made successful projects in US.
    his/her challenge will be then to bridge the gap between US efficiency and European culture.
    But remember that key role for Champions and Sponsors: they are often root cause of 6 sigma deployment failure….whatever nation they come from
    A French guy educated by US….


    John M

    What a load of rubbish your last post was. If you are going to say US Blackbelts are far more positive than european have some dignity  and come forth with some sort of data and analysis not a point of view. Having been a six sigma professional for six years in europe I find that remark astonishing.
    US Efficiency? VS European Culture? I cn’t see any gap what data  did that derrive from also.
    A person with experience with dealing with ressistance to change and having the ability to deliver in that enviroment is worth there weight in gold.
    Working for a company that simply wants to try whatever poses no challenge and needs no real soft skills to improve things. But an experienced person in implementing in a harsh no change here!enviroment can deliver anywhere. In my experience Six Sigma is 20% Tools and 80% soft skills.
    Bring a US person as you described working in a let’s try it enviroment to our reallity and we will see who is more positive at the end.
    I was trained by a large North American firm in the UK and certainly didn’t see a more positive attitude from collegues across the water,  what I saw was smoke and mirrors when it came down to what change was actually implimented.
    Having worked on both sides I stand proud of what Brittish industry have to offer and have met and worked with excellent Black belts in the UK I can’t comment if any one is better but the pedigree of delivery of real hard savings and new thinking on how to apply the methods is certainly not trailling behind the US.
    No Gap to Bridge my Friend,
    And for us No Bridge Too Far!

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