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What Skills Must A Modern Day Master Black Belt Possess





? Master Black Belt Training – interestingly enough there seems to widespread agreement on what training is required to develop such a person.

Read the following extract from the website of a company offering MBB training.

‘……. has developed and delivered Master Black Belt Certification a two week Master Black Belt program focusing on advanced Six Sigma statistical methods used in Six Sigma projects. In addition to typical Black Belt tools, new tools in areas such as study of variation, multi-vari experiments, nonparametric analysis, destructive testing, handling attribute responses (far beyond Freeman-Tukey), practical experimentation, optimization experiments, handling multi-response experiments, distributional analysis, advanced regression methods, advanced SPC methods and have fun while doing all this!’

This is typical of the offerings that I’ve observed in the United States. Now my question is this: Do you notice where the focus is? Can you see that the shortcomings of this approach? Do you see it creates a risk that the Master Black Belt will eventually become irrelevant? Clearly it’s a focus on the technical aspects of process improvement, a focus on statistics, a focus on making a master black belt a much better black belt.

THE WORLD WAS FLAT ONCE

Do you remember when the world was flat and blood letting was the ultimate cure for disease? Remember when the earth was the centre of the solar system? No, perhaps you remember when technology meant more time and less paper.

You may not remember when a group of intelligent business people agreed that sub-prime mortgages were a good idea, but as sure as the sun is coming up tomorrow we are all feeling the impact of that agreement aren’t we?

Just because people agree on something doesn’t make it right. Just because the majority of master black belt training focuses on statistics, that does not make it relevant to the changing needs of the world today.

WHERE TO START

If you want to know how to develop a master black belt for the modern world, we need to rethink this for a moment and go back to what the role of a master black really is. What is the role of a master black belt today? I’ve thought long and hard about this for many years now. During research for my Lean Six Sigma books I’ve had conversation with many of the most respected business transformation leaders in the country and I’ve looked at a myriad of web sites and read the opinions of hundreds of experts in the field.

Today, a master black belt cannot just be a better black belt or a statistician. Training and support software has advanced so much today that advanced statistical techniques can and should be learnt by black belts.

A master black belt on the other hand is required to be a change agent, a leader, a trainer, a coach, a mentor; someone who can lead and create a transformation in business through maximising the potential of the internal collaboration of people and processes. Their principle role today is to change people’s behaviour. And it is not limited to just employees, because the true master black belt can create positive change all the way to the top of their organisation.

WHAT SKILLS DOES A MASTER BLACK BELT NEED TODAY

Will more statistical or technical process improvement training give a black belt the skills they need to perform the role of a master black belt? I think not. The greater challenge today is not in getting better at studying variation or identifying the relationship between process variables. The greater challenge is always in changing people’s beliefs and behaviours. Now in the absence of skill in this area, what do people generally do? They usually fall back to the technical merits of their case to influence behaviour. We already know how difficult it is to shift behaviour doing that don’t we? The greatest innovations in leadership have occurred in the past decade.

Over the past decade there have been tremendous innovations in what I will call the ‘invisibles’ of leadership. Actions and behaviours are the visible elements. These are the things we can observe and take a picture or movie of. These are the things that managers try to manage. The invisibles on the other hand are those things you cannot see that underpin all human action and behaviour. The thinking patterns, beliefs and emotions which ultimately drive all human behaviour.

What are the skills that separates a master black belt from a black belt in the modern business world? I believe these are those skills.

(1) The art of persuasive conversation to lead ones imagination in a way that generates buy in and creates rapid and permanent learning;

(2) Reframing how people view certain beliefs they currently hold and beliefs they have to hold in oder for behaviour to change;

(3) Rapidly and permanently altering the associations that people have with certain positive behaviours they struggle to engage in;

(4) Using existing embedded patterns of the unconscious mind in order to create change and get people to respond positively to requests: and

(5) Shifting people’s focus to new endeavours when everything else is competing for their time and attention.

If you possessed these skills, how would that change your effectiveness as a leader?

Why does a master black belt need those skills today? FIRSTLY – the world is changing rapidly. To remain relevant in the modern business world, you must acquire knowledge and a skill set that is most suited to the business context that exists right now and is emerging. SECONDLY – practitioners who only continue to enhance their technical skill will eventually lose credibility and struggle to compete with those who pursue mastery of modern world leadership. And THIRDLY – who better to become a master of change than a master black belt, transformation is their entire focus so the modern day skills of change leadership fit like a glove.

Conventional thinking is only ‘convenient thinking’, conventional Master Black Belt Training will ultimately make them irrelevant in the modern world.


About Author George Lee Sye :

Soarent Vision is one company stepping up to the challenge and approaching Master Black Belt Training in a unique and progressive way that is gaining widespread recognition. To read more visit the website here – <a href="http://www.soarent.com.au/lean-six-sigma/master-black-belt" target="_blank">http://www.soarent.com.au/lean-six-sigma/master-black-belt</a>


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Article Added on Sunday, September 5, 2010
LD
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