Getting Other People To See The Value Of Lean and Six Sigma

Here is another question someone asked recently:

“How do I get people to see that Lean and Six Sigma work everywhere and not just in manufacturing?”

Great question. However, I believe it is the wrong question, unfortunately. If I had to answer it, I would say “Stop talking about Lean and Six Sigma!”

A better question is  more like “What are some important problems you struggling with where I may be able to help?  To be successful process professionals must learn to go where the client is and help them solve their problems on their turf and in their terms.

  1. First, drop all the jargon and the need to teach or explain anything.
  2. Listen carefully as other people talk about their problems. Probe for evidence and data.
  3. Help them distinguish their undesirable results from other issues (sound process training should be helpful here!)
  4. Once you have identified the real problem, you can use your problem solving skills to help them begin to improve.

 Help them solve an important problem (thereby demonstrating the power of process thinking correctly applied) and they will want to know more.

I’m sure some of you might have some good stories about this from your experience. Let’s hear about them!



Michael Webb

Michael Webb founded Sales Performance Consultants to create a data-driven alternative to the slogans and shallow impact offered by typical sales training, sales consulting, and CRM companies. Michael helped organize and delivered the keynote speeches for the first conferences ever held on applying Six Sigma to marketing and sales. Connect with me on LinkedIn.