E6S-034 Fifty Shades of Black - LSS Commoditization- Part 2

Intro:  Welcome to the E6S-Methods podcast with Jacob and Aaron, your source for expert advice on Lean, Six Sigma, and performance improvement methods. In this episode number 34, “Fifty Shades of Black” Part 2, we continue our discussion over Lean Six Sigma commoditization, and how to cut through the gray area. “Seriously.... Will The Real Black Belt, Please St.... oh, there you are...”   

***Fifty Shades of Black. Will the real Black Belt please stand up?***                                                              

Objection 1: Why can't you LSS guys get it straight and standardize? BBs should be the same no matter where you go.

Counter: The fact is that there is no true unifying body.  All certification programs are businesses, driven by tuition dollars.  Each has similar certification criteria, but most can be gamed. 

Objection 2---Just because I didn't spend lots of money on training doesn't make me a worse GB or BB.---         

Counter: Agreed.  But there is a correlation, (in Aaron’s experience).  The proof is in the pudding.  Be the proof, not the pudding.                

I            The positives and negatives of LSS commoditization, and Root causes.                

a.       Information has been democratized.  The masses are becoming more aware.

b.      But the BOK associated with the titles has been diluted. It's tough see who the experts are. 

c.       Root Causes

i.      A need for customization at the business level (leave out the tools the company won't use),

ii.      Popularity sprung up numerous training programs, universities, distance learning & self-study.  High unemployment rates have led to the creation of free/state funded training programs, giving training to the unemployed, regardless of expertise, competence, etc. 

1.      People can now choose to be BBs/GBs instead of needing to be selected by their business leaders, based on their performance. 

2.      More and more earn their certifications without having any practical experience.            

II         Not all GBs, BBs candidates are created equal                   

a.       The quality of a GB or BB is not in their certification, or even where they obtained their training.

i.      Self-study certified BB can be better than a BB graduating from a top-ranked certifiying body (though less likely). 

ii.      The difference is in performance. 

1.      Certification and training doesn't garrantee performance. 

2.      This can only be determined by looking into the details of theiir project acheivements, drilling into their resumes, and good screening during an interview.

3.      Focusing on the results, how, and why... and not so much "how many"                                                      

III      Not all GB & BB training/certification programs are created equal (Don’t take the brand name for face value.... you’d be surprised.)

a.       Some training programs offer coaching through 2 projects and a test before certifying, to officially stamp a BB/GBs capabilities. 

b.      Other programs give enough training to pass the ASQ exam or equivalent.  They don't certify or coach through projects.(academic) 

i.      ASQ exam is based on an "honor" code, and only requires a signature to verify 2 projects were completed.  The rest of the certification is based on ability to complete a multiple choice exam.  

ii.      Having an ASQ certification only proves to me that the candidate wanted to be certified and put in the effort to do so.                                                                        

            ***Fifty Shades of Black. Will the Real Black Belt Please Stand up?*** 
Outro: Thanks for listening to episode 34 of the E6S-Methods Podcast.  Stay tuned for episode number 35, “Blended Smoothie” Ditch your serial DMAIC approach.  Subscribe to past and future episodes on iTunes or stream us live on-demand with Stitcher Radio. Follow us on twitter @e6sindustries. Find us on LinkedIn to join a discussion. Outlines and graphics for all shows are posted on our website, www.E6S-Methods.com. “Journey Through Success”