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Lean Six Sigma Manager: How Whaddaya Mean I Gotta Be Lean? Can Help You

Lean Six Sigma Manager: Is This You?

  • You do a lot of tasks that you wish your team could do
  • You fight fires all day long
  • You can’t seem to find the time to work on important projects
  • You spend a lot of your time trying to convince your team that Lean works
  • Implementing Lean principles causes conflict with your team

If those things sound familiar to you as a Lean Six Sigma manager, you are not alone. In fact, 74% of companies report that they are not getting everything they want out of Lean.

(Learn more about this Lean book)

Improperly Executed Lean…

  • Wastes your time
  • Makes it more difficult to meet your goals
  • Slows down or completely derails your continuous improvement efforts
  • Makes every day harder on you than it should be
  • Creates tension between you and your team
  • Squanders your company’s resources

And these struggles don’t just affect your company’s performance.

As a Lean Six Sigma manager, the path your career takes in a Lean company is directly linked to how well you can solve these problems.

Develop a Plan for Your Team

So, where do you go from here? The first step is to buy the book for yourself and use it to set up a development plan for your team. I recommend you use ‘active reading’—take lots of notes and mark key points in the book. As you read

  • Note whether anyone on your team struggles with the 100+ problems you’ll see in chapters 8-11.
  • Highlight the areas where you are strong in green and the areas you need to work on in yellow.
  • Use a different color to highlight points that apply to your work area, and then make an action plan to follow up on these items. Get the ideas out of the book and into practice.

After reading, focus on how you can use your strengths to make your team more effective. Only then, consider how you can keep your weaknesses from holding you back. The key to success as a Lean Six Sigma manager is playing to your strengths.

Set Your Plan in Motion

After you read this book, buy it for your team. Since your employees probably don’t read a lot of professional books, make sure you answer the ‘WIIFM’ (what’s in it for me?) question for them.

In order to encourage them to read it you can…

  • Form a book club and offer a free lunch to the people who want to attend. Discuss one chapter a week.
  • Give people time to read specific sections during the day.
  • Use quizzes to check if people have read the book, and offer rewards for passing—leaving half an hour early, a free lunch, a designated parking space. Be creative.
  • Make independent improvement efforts a requirement for getting company-paid training. If your employee wants to attend a class on Excel, he first has to show his commitment through independent study (whether Whaddaya Mean? or some other book.)

What Do You Want To Do Now?

Whaddaya Mean? helps treat Lean side effects & eliminate the Lean Transformation Waste so you as a Lean Six Sigma manager can…

Improve Your Job Satisfaction

Lean affects many factors that contribute to your job satisfaction.

As a Lean Six Sigma manager, you face a problem your employees don’t face. You are not only a leader. You are also your boss’s employee. You have to balance your job satisfaction from both ends. Not an easy task.

Whaddaya Mean? examines Lean job satisfaction in-depth and gives you specific strategies to help you like your job more. In addition, there are 100+ practical solutions to help you deal with common Lean problems.

If even one of these ideas helps you figure out how to improve your job satisfaction, isn’t that worth the price of the book?

Free Up More of Your Time

What’s a Lean Six Sigma manager’s most valuable resource? Time. You can’t get more of it. Once you spend it, it’s gone forever.

Are you using your daily allotment of hours wisely? More importantly, who controls your time? Do you get to decide how to spend it, or is your schedule dictated by problems, crises, and a lack of trained people to help you out?

Whaddaya Mean? looks at these issues and more. How would your life change if your team knew how to avoid problems rather than report them? What if they wanted to independently improve their skills? Skills that let you delegate tasks from your desk to theirs—and improve their job satisfaction in the process.

What would you do with a few (or more!) extra hours a week to use as you want to, not as you have to?

Avoid Conflict and Problems with Your Team

Change is hard for some people. They resist, and it creates conflict and tension between you and your team, or within the ranks of the groups you lead.

Whaddaya Mean? offers a step-by-step process that gets to the heart of why people think about change the way they do, and more importantly, how to head the conflicts off.

How much more could you get done in a day if everyone got along better? And how much fresher would you be when you went home at the end of the shift?

Achieve More of Your Goals

You want to be successful. You have probably done well throughout your career, or you would not be reading this section.

Lean gives you a great opportunity to hit more of the goals that lead to further career success, and just plain makes your job more fun. Everyone prefers winning to losing.

Whaddaya Mean? improves your odds of successfully hitting your goals, making your boss very happy. And happy bosses make happy employees.

Get Better Results from Lean

You want your company to be successful. When it does well, your life gets better. Bigger bonuses. More job security. Less stress. The list is long.

If Lean is not getting you all the results you want, it might not be because of a lack of technical expertise. It might be related to the human side of Lean.

Getting teams more engaged in Lean efforts is critical to achieving bigger and better results. Whaddaya Mean? examines how satisfied employees can help improve your Lean results.

This book provides over a 100 specific, easy-to-implement solutions for the common Lean problems that might be holding you back.

Get Promoted

Watch who gets promoted in a Lean company. More than likely the best jobs go to people who have a solid background in Lean, and are strong advocates of it.

If you want to rise through the ranks, you have to be seen as being an effective Lean Six Sigma manager and a strong leader. The trick is not doing everything yourself. Involving your team in Lean efforts can accelerate your career path.

Whaddaya Mean? is the blueprint for engaging your team and improving their skills.

Envision how nice it would be if your team looked forward to doing the things that boosted your career—all while helping themselves?

Imagine how you will feel if you can look back at the people that helped you get where you are—and see smiling faces rather than resentment.

When you create win-win situations for you and your team, Lean success comes quickly. And that promotion you have been dreaming of will likely come much sooner.

Get Your Team Doing More on Their Own

Undoubtedly, your team does what you tell them to do. But a team that follows directions perfectly is not an effective Lean team.

A Lean team has to do things on their own. Toyota is not successful because its employees are good at doing what they are told. It is because they are good at doing what they are not told.

How nice would it be if your team didn’t just report problems to you, but rather suggested—and implemented—solutions?

How great would it be to walk up on a smoothly flowing andon process where an operator was showing an engineer a few improvement ideas she had jotted down? Or better yet was asking for help on something that she was in the process of putting in place?

One thing I’ve learned in my countless Lean projects is that most employees don’t fail to act for a lack of intelligence. It is a lack of training, authority, sense of security, and a host of other things.

And all of those things come from leaders, not employees.

How would your day be different if your whole team was taking effective action, on their own, that got the group closer to its goals?

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