Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

August 2011    |    Volume: 43    |    Number: 8

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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Improve how you improve

Tough times are no reason to stay the course with lean Six Sigma

By Terence T. Burton

We are emerging from the largest recession and slowest recovery since the Great Depression. Unfortunately, the reactionary and inconsistent leadership responses to the meltdown have become the new norm in organizations, taking culture backward and destroying the ability to improve anything. Organizations have placed a “freeze” on improvement when they need it the most. Many have downsized their improvement resources.

However, hidden waste continues to pile up and hamper true strategic improvement. The majority of organizations find themselves in a derailed state with their lean Six Sigma initiatives and strategic and sustainable improvement in general. They need a more accelerated and adaptive approach to improvement to get back on track in the new economy.

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