iSixSigma

History Of The Six Sigma Belt System, Black Belt Name History

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General History Of The Six Sigma Belt System, Black Belt Name History

Viewing 24 posts - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #30956

    Rod Baxter
    Member

    I would like to know if the concept of green, black, and master black belt originated with Motorola with Six Sigma or did the designations come later from another manufacturer? Thanks, Rod 

    0
    #81283

    MMBB
    Participant

    The GB/BB/MBB terminology was developed by the Motorola team that created the whole Black Belt idea well before Mikel Harry left Motorola. Mikel brought those terms with him to GE.
    Those involved decided to focus first on development of BB’s, so Motorola didn’t actually start officially recognizing GB’s & MBB’s until several years later, after those terms had come into use at GE. 

    0
    #81375

    Daniel Sloan
    Participant

    According to a vintage Mikel Harry Video tape recorded around 1995, a plant manager in Utah once told him that the tools “Were kicking the heck out of variation” in production. The Japanese martial arts metaphor then surfaced in their conversation, and the idea apparently appealed to someone.
    Speaking as an ASQ Certified Black Belt, I think it is shame that some of the the best tools applied science has to offer have been packaged using personal combat metaphors. As a consultant who has led, and is leading, Six Sigma initiatives, I can tell you many, many clients tell me,”We don’t want anything to do with Six Sigma jargon.”
    Since the knowledge tools have been around for more than 80 years, I am sure they will survive quite nicely after this packaging wears thin. 
     

    0
    #81379

    Billbobsmyidol
    Participant

    The terms GBsBBsMBBs were “officially” recognized by AlliedSignal ( I am sure they weren’t the first) long before Allied’s Larry Bossidy convinced Jack Welch to get into the Six Sigma world.  GE invented Six Sigma very much like a certain potlitcian invented the Internet.

    0
    #81383

    billybob
    Participant

    Hello folks,
    You all may know me as a very complicated man.
    Had I invented 6S I would have called the ranks;
    Statistical Tech I, II, III, and IV.
    But then I guess Superman, Batman, Flash Gordan, and Bozo were already taken.
    Later,
    Billybob
     

    0
    #81384

    billybob
    Participant

    Its Billybob..not billbob
    Later,
    Billybob

    0
    #81390

    JG Suh
    Participant

    You don’t need to be shame of the Belt. Martial arts in the Far East countries were invented originally for self defense against wild animals. It is rather shameful that Hollywood films often distort the original concept of a martial arts to a fighting skill especially with a person, but it is not true. Martial arts are not for combat or fighting, but for your own defense against the wild nature, though you may sometimes need to defend yourself from some ‘wild-natured’ people in the centre of the ‘wild’ city.
    Martial art itself is not the thing to be shamed. Once you train yourself in a martial art gym, you would be tought at first with a mind training. You should control your inner world before you control your hands and feet. It is the right attitude who begins the way of  practicing asceticism.
    Also, Black Belt does not mean that you are authorized or certified to wear a belt newly coloured in black. It originally means you have trained yourself so hard and so long time that your belt has become stained close to black colour. This also suggests the fact that originally there were no green belts or yellow belts. Those coloured belts were brought into the world because of commercialization of the martial arts.
    Please don’t believe any film or book that describes a matial art as just a tool for revenge or a effective skill to beat an opponent.
    Thanks,
    JG
    from Korea

    0
    #81443

    Khare
    Member

    I am sure Mr. Suh’s advice has been taken well – but I am really interested in getting a real reply of the question posed originally – i.e., what is the history of black belt/green belt and infact six-sigma. Where did this term arise? Now tht would help – and not irrelevant discussion thread on martial arts and its use…

    0
    #81447

    lin
    Participant

    Why did this post not answer your question?:
    https://www.isixsigma.com/forum/showmessage.asp?messageID=21202

    0
    #81476

    Bill Eureka
    Participant

    Sometimes I find my clients are a bit perplexed by the notion of the belts.  An explanation I have found useful is:
    “As in martial arts, you don’t get to be a Black Belt by studying — you get there by doing, and doing repeatedly until you have mastered it.  Mastery only comes from doing, not from book learning.  So it is with Six Sigma — we become a Black Belt by demonstrated proficiency in real world situations.”
    They still may think that the belt metaphor is a bit odd, but they are more understanding.

    0
    #85272

    bbrauns
    Participant

    Dear sirs,
      I am interested in this topic too. As i didnt find this infomation in the forum I would like to know which style of martial arts Mr Harry used to define the colors. (karate, jiujitsu….)
    Best wishes,
    BBrauns

    0
    #85275

    MMBB
    Participant

    Though his comments are now many months old, I thought I’d add to Daniel Sloan’s comments about a “vintage” 1995 video by Mikel Harry.
    Motorola’s very first Black Belts were recognized in September, 1992, well after Six Sigma had started. They were patterned after the success of Motorola’s “statistical method engineers” (SME’s) in several Asian facilities.
    Shortly after launching the BB program, Motorola created the Six Sigma Technical Institute that “hosted” a joint effort that also included IBM, Texas Instruments, and Kodak. That effort lasted only a few years. I was told it was terminated because Motorola BB candidates were too loose lipped during the training sessions, but I’d guess there were other reasons.
    If you look at the BB programs at Motorola, Kodak, and TI, – IBM dropped the problem quite early – you’ll see the original philosophy (BB’s stay in their original job “injecting” the new skills into their own areas of expertise). Most other BB programs are patterned off of what Mikel brought to other companies when he left Motorola, where BB’s are hired into a new fulltime job and then trained in the skills.
    The two approaches are quite different – each has its own benefits and problems.

    0
    #85284

    Mikel
    Member

    It would be hard for any of what you said to be true as Mikel had left Motorola before any of your time line started in 1992.

    0
    #85286

    Loehr
    Member

    Harry was interviewed by ASQ’s Quality Press magazine in its October, 1999, issue (pp. 27-34).  In this interview, he states that he left Motorola in 1993 to take up a position as corporate vice president of quality systems deployment at ABB Asea Brown Boveri.
    In this article, Harry also claims to have coined the term “black belt” while he was at Motorola and working on a joint project with Unisys Corporation to produce a large electronic circuit for a mainframe computer.

    0
    #85309

    MMBB
    Participant

    While I didn’t keep a date log of Mikel’s whereabouts, I have internal memos from Motorola University responding to a first proposal for a Motorola Black Belt Program dated early in ’93 that include a cc: to Mikel Harry, so I know he was still in Motorola early in ’93.
    There was an original group of Black Belts recognized in 1992 who were tasked with mentoring upcoming BB candidates. Many of these set about the task of creating/defining a more formal description of the Motorola Black Belt Program. Rough drafts of those documents are dated early ’93.
    I also have a copy of Mikel Harry’s description of the Six Sigma Technical Institute and the recommended BB program training. The SSTI sponsored the initial BB training and the Motorola Black Belt Steering Committee (who defined the program), but there is no date on it. I suspect is was written prior to 1991, since it infers Motorola is still working on achieving Six Sigma Quality by 1992. It also refers to 1990 in the past tense.
     

    0
    #88745

    Stephens
    Participant

    Actually, the belt system used in the quality realm is an abomination
    and offends those who hold martial arts belts such as myself.   Additionally, I have an MBA with my thesis/seminar subject being TQM and Six Sigma methods.  Also, it is interesting that William Edwards Deming didn’t mention a personal ranking system in his “Some Theory of Sampling” book which, although little known, is the basis for the plagiarized ‘belt’ system.  Alas, Motorola and GE are corporate monoliths… so they must be correct in every area they address.
    Craig Randolph

    0
    #88747

    Mikel
    Member

    Craig,
    Very impressive except I don’t have a clue what point(s) you are making. Do you mind explaining? For example, I don’t know what a personal ranking system has to do with any thing.

    0
    #89018

    Tim
    Member

    Craig,
    You must be highly offended by the ranking system used in the ancient board game of Go. It uses essentially the same Kyu/Dan ranking system as the traditional martial arts.
    Should a Bonsai “Master” be offended that a Jujitsu “Master” is referred to by the same honorific? Should all school Teachers be offended that martial arts “Sensei” (Japanese for “Teacher”) are referred to by the same title??
    For a martial artist to be offended by the use of the nomenclature “Green Belt” or “Black Belt” as Six Sigma designations is somewhat petty. I have spent over 30 years earning my professional and martial credentials and I couldn’t care less what color belt anyone, in any discipline of study, cares to refer to themselves as.
    In all disciplines that use this, or any colored belt-based ranking system, the man makes the belt–the belt does not make the man.
    As for clients who are offended or put off by the ‘colorful’ nomenclature of Six Sigma designations, I suggest that they think long and hard about what problems they could possibly have with a simple reference to a clothing accessory, colored green or black, which–if any of us BBs or GBs were to actually wear it– would serve the completely benign purpose of keeping one’s knickers from falling to the floor.
    Now, if we were referring to ourselves as Six Sigma Samurai or Six Sigma Ninja, that would be a different issue altogether…   ;-)
    Regards,
    Tim

    0
    #89019

    David Oakley
    Participant

    Tim
    What about Six Sigma Divine Wind?
     
    David

    0
    #89037

    Tim
    Member

    David,
    Next time we’re at the bar the Kamikazes are on me!
    Regards,
    Tim

    0
    #90628

    Marky Mark
    Participant

    As to the Timeline of Black Belt Philosophy and Mikel Harry:  I can tell you first-hand that Mikel Harry was indeed at Motorloa – still – in 1993.  I was a member of the team that invented the Black Belt Philosophy in September 1992 (Mikel Harry lead the team).  We worked with Mikel and Motorola for a few years closely.  It was a great pleasure working with all the people of the group.  I was representing Kodak at the time.  So the timeline as far as that goes is correct.  (As I sit here looking at my Black Belt Plaque from “September, 1992”).
    Is Tom Cheeks still around??????  Hey Buddy!  MT of Kodak.

    0
    #90630

    Sammy
    Member

    Hey,
    Would like to know the companies who are offering to get green & black belt certiciation are actually of any value in the market or not ?
    Thanks
    Sammy

    0
    #114070

    Shashank
    Member

    I would like to know if the concept of green, black, and master black belt originated with Motorola with Six Sigma or did the designations come later from another manufacturer?
     Shashank
    Bangalore

    0
    #114072

    Trev
    Member
Viewing 24 posts - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)

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