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Newbie BBs Are Our Future

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums General Forums General Newbie BBs Are Our Future

This topic contains 18 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  MBBinWI 7 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
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  • #53943

    Stevo

    Where are we failing our newest batches of Black Belts (regardless of their industry)? Is it?
    • Basic project management
    • Statistics and the more advanced stat tools
    • How to coach / mentor?
    • Change management
    • Business acumen
    • Sense of urgency
    • Loosing their focus on tangible results
    • Common sense
    • Leadership
    • Others

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    #192147

    Darth
    Participant

    Yes. Except maybe stat stuff. They have more than what is needed to do the tech part. I think the biggest issue and Stan has stated it quite a few times, is in our selection process for BBs as well as MBBs. While they may be smart and have skills, their personality and innate characteristics are not something you can teach. Putting them in positions of change may be setting them up for failure. Many of your “failures” above cannot be taught. Ya either got it or you don’t.

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    #192152

    Peter Tibbetts
    Participant

    Change agents. Stats will become the easiest part of their projects. Getting people to change behaviors is the hard part.

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    #192165

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Stevo,

    This can become a circular discussion very quickly. I think what Peter is saying is what people see. Some sit in the corner sucking their bottom lip because it failed and others are over joyed because they wanted to do Lean and don’t want to be bothered with data – let’s sit around the fire naked singing Kumbaya, we are different so we are only going to do 5S because the other stuff looks like we may have to get off our backsides and actually do something besides rearrange the furniture. BTW don’t ask me about calculating benefits everybody knows you can’t do that with Lean afterall we are eliminating waste but there isn’t any money attached to it – besides that is back to numbers again.

    If we do root cause it will go back to the people who were selected to do this. If we go a level below that it goes to the people who selected them. How did they select them – for the most part they closed their eyes and used the force. So we are going to teach people to do data driven decision making but the people we are selecting – we don’t need data for that – I am going to pick the people who are pretty much just like me. So if they are a slug (or as Jack Welch refered to them – a turkey) then you get more slugs.

    We have tools like Predictive Index (PI) that allow us to understand who these people are and we understand the job so we know what types of people do it best. You don’t have to be a Mensa candidate to figure out how to fix the selection process – the real issue is getting the “boss” to understand they need it.

    The next thing you do is drop anyone from the program that says “we’re different’, “initiative of the day” or “there isn’t a Silver bullet”.

    Just my opinion.

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    #192169

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    I have seen good technical BB’s without change mgmt skills get paired with a mgr or business unit leader that has those skills and be successful. However, without a good technical background the BB will be no better than anyone else in determining what to change. While Mike describes the optimal situation (a BB that possesses both good change mgmt as well as good technical) sometimes that person is not available or willing to take on the role.
    Just my humble opinion.

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    #192170

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    MBB’s, on the other hand, should go through a PI (or Myers/Brigg, or several others) type evaluation and only be selected to take on that role/level if they have a complementary type.

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    #192172

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    @MBBinWI – are you going to keep doing that “humble opinion” stuff?

    I agree it will be rare that you get someone who is good at both. You can get through this whith people who are not technical but you have to have someone strong technically on the team. When we use th PI stuff we know when we are deviating from the optimal profile (there are successful BB’s with other profiles). The good part is that with information like PI you can be proactive in how you mentor them.

    Just my opinion.

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    #192174

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @mike-carnell – I promise only to do so if it’s really only my opinion and others may have contrary evidence (but I reserve the right to also do so when I’m feeling partcularly snarky as a response to a really dumb question or answer).

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    #192180

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    @MBBinWI Snarky! That is midwest for what in English?

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    #192298

    Joan Ambrose

    The way I see it is that new Black Belts lack the confidence to move forward, in general. We’ve given them a very full toolbox, and demonstrated how to use most of the tools, but they still are uncertain of which tools make sense to use in which circumstance. And, at this early point in their development, they are very tool focused and concerned about doing “it” “right.” I think where we can most help new BBs is with regular mentoring through their first projects, in order to help them feel confident to move forward and to present their work and their ideas to others. In doing this, we can also help them identify and build the processes and structures they will need for success in their organization, and help them understand that change is always messy, no matter how well you do it, and that’s okay.

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    #192303

    Robert Tripp
    Participant

    Match.com is a substitute for dating; PI is a substitute for otj experience. Both work really well (I’ve heard) in some situationa and I am sure they have failed now and then too. Im not seeing a good substitute for good mentoring and building an effective management system around deployment of the belts. If you have a successful belt in the absence of those things, he/she should be in a much more influential leadership role (probably beyond MBB) and the chance you will replace him/her successfully in the role is really low.
    If BBs lack confidence, we should be careful not to pump them up with praise to make them artificially feel good, the organization needs to build the self-correcting system that weeds out the slugs and give the sucessful ones to have confidence. If they dont have confidence on entering the process the selection process failed.

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    #192311

    Sarah Miles

    Brand spanking new BB in training thanks you for this post Steveo. Great reading for someone who’s at the centre of the subject matter.

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    #192312

    Chris Schweighardt
    Participant

    Communication training – verbally, written, power point, presenting, etc.

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    #192314

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Gary Cone may want to jump in on this since I know he is an advocate of PI. There is data from 4 continents that says the most successful (please do not read “exclusive”) profile is a High A, B doesn’t seem to have an effect, Low C and Middle to Low D. So who is that?

    High A – the confidence comes from within. They believe they will be successful simply because they are doing it. They will make it happen. There is nothing more irritating that listening to a Belt whine about a project before they have even begun the problem.

    High and Low B – High B’s are very social – they talk a LOT generally and drive Low B’s crazy; Low B’s are task oriented; There doesn’t appear to be any real differentiation on success based on this factor.

    Low C – impatient – very Low C’s it is impossible to do it fast enough to please them.

    Middle to Low D – Normal or less sensitivity to criticism. This helps in the change management side of it.

    You can also look for the ratio of A to Lowest drive/ A to D to understand their aversity to risk.

    You have to use your head with this. This doesn’t guarantee a successful Belt but it moves the odds in your favor (particularly on Wave 1). As my friend Steve Rogers in South Africa likes to say if they have this profile and are “dof” (South African slang for not particularly bright) of course they won’t be successful.

    If you look at that combination – they are confident they can do it simply because they are doing it, impatient and not sensitive to criticism – you are supplying the raw material (people) to the process that has the highest probability of success.

    If you have the information that some are different from that profile then when they are mentored – assuming they are – you understand their proclivities and adjust for it. For example if you are deploying in an underground mining operation, successful underground miners tend to be risk averse, that is why they are alive. When you mentor them you tend to look for them being very cautious about implementing change but you also have to respect their knowledge of the environment. In the same deployment you can have people from the above ground processing who are the more traditional profile. The adjustment is something the person doing the mentoring needs to be aware of. That goes back to Rob Tripp’s comment on mentoring.

    The right people, well trained and mentored. It really isn’t all that complicated.

    Just my opinion.

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    #192317

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    Generally (not absolutely), organizations do a pretty good job of selecting the right people for the initial implementation – usually because the “right” people are easy to identify. It’s the subsequent iterations of replacements that are more problematic, and would benefit from an evaluation like PI. Yet by the 3rd or 4th iteration, visibility to sr. mgmt has waned and costs of applying a PI evaluation are deemed “waste.” Then you start having unsuccessful/incomplete projects, the methodology starts to be misused or maligned and things start to degrade. Like any process, it must be maintained.

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    #192319

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    The cost of a PI assessment is much less expensive than selecting the wrong person or not preparing the mentor to coach a person.

    Just my opinion.

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    #192332

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @mike-carnell – Ah, but it’s the easily identifiable/visible costs (paying to conduct a PI) vs. the hard to pin down costs of wrong person in the job. And since it was the management level that selected the person, it couldn’t be that they did a bad job in selecting, so must be the system, etc.

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    #192339

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    I would think it shouldn’t be to difficult to figure out what it costs to pull someone out of work and sit in a classroom and end up either not doing the job or doing it poorly. Imagine if a company cannot figure that out how well they will do at establishing the value of a project.

    Just my opinion.

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    #192498

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @mike-carnell – Adjective: snarky (comparative snarkier, superlative snarkiest)

    1.(informal) Snide and sarcastic; usually out of irritation; often humourously.

    If my posts seem to be particularly prolific (and perhaps exceedingly sophomoric) it’s ’cause my benefactor hasn’t had any work for me and I’m hiding from my “honey do” list. Now it looks like I’ve run out of ways to waste your time, so I probably need to go see what I need to do around the house.

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