Lean and Six Sigma in Our Turbulent Economy

I learned of an upcoming free webinar through IndustryWeek that I thought I would share; it is called Lean and Six Sigma in Our Turbulent Economy and will take place Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at  2:00 p.m. I unfortunately will not be to attend but would like your feedback on the webcast if you are able to. Below is the summary.

Wave goodbye to the economy we’ve known. The complexity and global scope of the credit crisis has changed the world of business. Independent of this market mess, executives need to build better, stronger global organizations. You face business challenges throughout your organization. Many of your operating problems are painful now, and they will become more painful when things get better. Either rise to the occasion now or wait until your competition leaves you in the dust.

The best time to deploy the structure, methodologies, and improvement tools of Lean/Six Sigma is now, but it is amazing how improvement resources are one of the first casualties in the belt tightening efforts. Executives panic themselves and others around them into a paralysis frenzy, and their actions become a self-fulfilling prophesy with respect to Lean/Six Sigma. They selectively cut back on the very people who can save the day, because there are no funds in the budget for improvement! When this approach doesn’t work, they cut back on jobs and look at offshoring to places with lower labor costs. Eventually, hundreds or even thousands of employees might be impacted by this short-sighted decision making under uncertainty.

Leading organizations “knuckle down” and use this time to search for and eliminate the hidden, non-people wastes in their processes. They take a more aggressive approach with their Lean/Six Sigma deployment because they see it as the key enabler to reduce costs, improve competitiveness, or accelerate growth. Regardless of your industry, an effective Lean/Six Sigma deployment requires that executives go on the defense and offense concurrently, and seize the day from their competition. You need to deploy the right improvement methodologies (e.g., Kaizen, Lean, Six Sigma, enabling IT) and resources to the highest impact opportunities now.

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