Lean Six Sigma - The Emperor's New Clothes

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If Lean Six Sigma manufacturing works so well, why aren’t there as many successful Lean Six Sigma companies as there are successful Lean Six Sigma consultants? Following 35 years of application we still only speak of a select few who are sustainably Lean!—Toyota, Nissan, Tesco—the usual suspects. For the majority of companies the reported improvements are not sustained over time, provoking the industry at large to use terms like "culture" to enable blame to be apportioned to some non-entity that isn’t really understood—this "loose talk" disassociates people from responsibility and business continues—situation normal.....

Whether it’s a 5S implementation at HMRC, a bank losing billions, GE saying it can’t afford to do Six Sigma, the NHS, insurance companies, service companies or manufacturing organizations, regardless of market sector, size of company or stage of development, it sometimes seems as if everyone and his dog is doing something with a TPS (Toyota production system) derived product, and finding it just as hard to sustain success today as they did 35 years ago following the introduction of Quality Circles and TQM. The billion dollar question has to be, Why?

In this document, David Bovis, a Business Development specialist with Lean experience from shop-floor to corporate group since 1993, has studied psychology, philosophy and theology since 2001 and brings these typically independent subjects together to answer that question. Bovis makes the connections between cultural and psychological issues, measures derived from standard accounting practice and Lean as it is typically practiced today, to demonstrate the negative impact a lack of awareness of these issues has in all businesses across the globe on a regular basis.

Bovis currently delivers courses on the Psychology of Cultural Change and Lean development to executive teams as a member of the Commercial Consulting practice at Pera Innovation, linking culture, psychology, personal development, Lean accounting, Lean strategy and the common Lean tools and techniques (e.g. 5S, TPM, Standard Work, Kaizen, SMED, Kanban etc.). Bovis specializes in addressing all Lean development issues from Board, through management to shop-floor, providing a coherent system that can achieve sustainable results.

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