High Performing Organizations & Lean Six Sigma; Achieving Dramatic & Sustainable Results by Carey “Vixen” Lohrenz

Carey Lohrenz here.

80% of all Continuous Improvement programs fail. Ouch! That’s a lot of time, money and energy down the drain!

How do you prevent this from happening in your organization? Unite the existing powerful disciplines of Lean Six Sigma and High Performing Organizations for easier change management, sustainable outcomes, and rapid, dramatic gains.

I just returned from Europe after participating in two EU Operational Excellence Summits in Hungary and Italy. My keynotes focused on High Performing Organizations and Lean Six Sigma: Achieving Dramatic and Sustainable Results.

I shared how to dramatically improve results by integrating High Performing Organization framework of Leadership, Process, People and Culture with Lean’s Continuous Improvement principles and tools that focus on waste elimination and process speed.

Combining these two powerful disciplines with complementary strengths is a key to success when attempting to implement any Lean Six Sigma approach. However, it appears that the combined disciplines have not yet been widely integrated.

This is a missed opportunity.

Listening to the audience’s questions and their struggles with implementing Continuous Improvement initiatives reaffirmed my belief that having a supportive Culture is critical to any type of Operational Excellence initiative. The need for the right kind of culture and the difficulty and process of changing/developing that culture were widely discussed.

Hint: If you think you may have a culture issue trying to implement change, you most likely do!

This is not just a European issue, but a global one.

Developing a strong Culture of Performance is essential. So how can your organization develop a Culture of Performance?

Let’s take a look at five best practices that can help you lay the groundwork for culture change and growth within your organization:

1) Executive Buy-in. Define your Culture of Performance through actions. What we know to be true from both our military and corporate experience is that it starts at the top. Leadership needs to provide top-level support and define it through actions. Executive buy-in and support is critical.

Culture change won’t happen by mandate. Ever.

2) Process Matters. Prepare, Execute, Debrief, Adjust.   Skip any of these steps and you risk failure. Adopt only the Lean Six Sigma Tools as needed.

3) Develop a Culture of Learning.  It is a hallmark of carrier aviation. The idea of learning before doing, learning during and learning after guide all that we do. This allows us to Reduce our Time to Insight™ and adjust as a team to a rapidly changing environment successfully. We do this each and every time without exception because it is so effective.

Think of how this applies to your world. If you are not taking the time to Debrief, how do you expect your results to improve – to capture the benefits of your Continuous Improvement Initiative? Help your team maximize their performance by taking the time to Debrief!

4) Communicate, and then communicate some more! Involve and inform all stakeholders.Those tasked to execute the Continuous Improvement Initiative need to be able to see how what they do makes a difference. It is pointless to train people in Lean and Six Sigma if they can’t understand the process and understand what is now expected of them.

People fear change. They resist it. They will resist it even more if they don’t understand why the change is happening, or if they view it as too complicated. And then they will backslide into old habits.

5) Debrief and Adjust!

Globally, organizations that are able to execute well will consistently outperform those in their industry that do not.  I know this seems like common sense, but Execution still ranks at the top of most CEO’s list of concerns today.

Combining Lean Six Sigma and High Performing Organization practices accelerates your chance of success. If you are looking for more rapid, dramatic gains with your Operational Excellence initiative, consider simultaneously introducing these two powerful disciplines.


Carey ‘Vixen’ Lohrenz has flown missions worldwide as a combat-mission-ready United States Navy F-14 Tomcat pilot. Her extensive experience operating in one of the world’s most challenging environments, an aircraft carrier, and her unique position as one of the first female combat pilots make her a highly sought after business consultant and keynote speaker.  As a dynamic Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Consultant and Coach, Lohrenz has helped countless individuals and organizations enhance their ability to communicate effectively, drive focus alignment and efficiencies in execution.  As one of The Corps Group’s most engaging speakers, Carey has been requested by name by a number of Fortune 100 businesses. Further, Fortune 500 companies from a variety of industries have called on her to facilitate High Performance Teambuilding, Strategic Planning, Productivity Improvement, Project and Operational Planning.

Contact her at CLohrenz@TheCorpsGroup.com

LinkedIn Profile

Similar Posts