The Offshore Black Belt

Is sourcing black belts off shore for the sake of cost introducing a risk?

When you consider the role of the black belt recognize that analytics are only a small part of their responsibilities. One of the most critical roles a good black belt brings is that of a change agent. This requires interaction. The concept that you can offshore interaction falls short of building the important dynamic of team synergy.  That dynamic, working together as a collaborative group to achieve the most robust answer, is a significant problem solving enabler.

Lean Six Sigma is a strong fact based approach to solving problems. As such it refines the current state to an improved future state. Problem solving in industry has existed for many years with that purpose. Refinement requires analytics, but it also requires socio sensitivity. It means interacting with people to identify solutions to problems. It means embracing change face to face and all of its dimensions carefully.

The human interaction of making decisions, some of which are difficult, comes with a cost. Personally and professionally people are affected by process improvement initiatives. Decisions can be simple or complex and are often difficult. People do understand that difficult decisions must be made. Everyone understands that their job may become unnecessary. Those that refine the organization today may find themselves the recipient of future changes. Wouldn’t they want to be treated with dignity, with compassion. That begins with providing it when you are in a position to do so.

I find the concept of off shoring compassion and socio sensitivity hard to accept. If the black belt is truly a change agent, fully accepting of their responsibilities, they must be visible to the organization. They must coach the change. This requires attention. Personal attention.  Face to face attention.