Lean Six Sigma: A Compliment to Leadership Development?

Does Lean Six Sigma compliment a Leadership development program or is it in conflict?

Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology. The idea of improving process is not new however. The tools remain a constant. Only the name changes with some refinement that continues to make the process more robust. Therefore, how does Lean Six Sigma compliment a leadership development program?

Skilled practitioners have embraced a new paradigm, one that compliments leadership development.  Why?  Business Optimization, the name I prefer for Lean Six Sigma, is more powerful as a blended model. Composed of Process, Talent, and Change Management, all of which are leadership components, a natural blend results. The blend ensures analytics complement leadership skills, not compete with them, and it makes sense. Analytics in the absence of good leadership practices, and regard to people, can be cold hearted and single minded. Leadership without the compliment of some level of analytics could result in decisions that are not fact based, those that are based on influence or power.

So skilled practitioners blend Business Optimization with Leadership Development programs to introduce a powerful model that is both process and talent centric. They recognize that the perceived competition is imaginary and bypass it to ensure that business solutions are well thought out principle-based deliverables. They are built from a talent pool that are good leaders, who have been taught the principles of leadership, and recognize that partnership with process experts results in accepted and sustainable solutions.

Does Lean Six Sigma compete with Leadership programs in order to replace them? Is it the same as leadership development? Not by a long shot. They are complements in the most profound way possible. They bring talent and process together as a dynamic duo that is fully armed with the tools and mindset to move the business forward.