LSS and PI Game Changers: The List!

I scored the “Keys to Success” list that Gary Kucera made for the wrap-up session (unedited):

Canadian Pacific Railway (Jeff Adams):  Cultivate Business Relationships:

  • Create a 2010 “Relationship” strategy plan to build relationships with the “right” people who will help advocate and drive Process Improvement results
  • Target “thought” leaders to cultivate process improvement influence
  • Hand out free books
  • People will only “trust” you when they have a positive relationship with you

Direct Energy (David During/Shiraz Bajwa):  Create a Change Management / Influence Strategy to improve engagement of key people:

  • Y = f (x)
  • Ability to influence = function (role, adaptability, coverage, status)
  • Focus on people with political clout who influence people behavior
  • Impact the “Inner Circle” people by spending more time with them or have your “agents” perform this function
  • “Become a relationship Expert” to be an effective change-agent
  • Key Takeaway:  Build an Influence Strategy “UPFRONT”
  • Alternative tool:  Stakeholders Analysis tool

Bantrel (Chris Sandink):  Engage your Customer/Client

  • Use a data based approach to improve KPIs to successfully influence customers/clients
  • Build a process improvement plan by determining what measures can be improved which will result in improving a KPI
  • Get customer/client engaged in building the business case to increase acceptance
  • Key Takeaway:  Use data to make business cases to influence change and get stakeholder engagement as early as possible in this process

Create a Crisis (Multiple Speakers):

  • Process Improvement change is accelerated when a crisis occurs
  • Either “Create” a crisis or escalate an existing crisis to facilitate change
  • Top leaders will “Rethink” business strategies
  • Obtain dialogue among selected “thought leaders” to discuss what should be done “different”

Alignment of Goals within a business:

  • From CEO to associate, goals need to be aligned to improve the probability of success
  • Finance and Human Resources are key members to make this alignment occur
  • Finance should pay bonuses and merit increases based on an aligned goal structure


  • Identify the skill sets needed to be successful for your team and try not to compromise with lower standards
  • Before hiring a person, perform succession planning to build your exit strategy for each person on your team
  • Best Practice Idea:  Have a person sign at the time of being hired a personal commitment to stay at least 2 years to reduce turnover

Project Success:

  • Keep project scopes small and get many “small wins” versus one “big win” as it improves engagement and long term project success
  • Make sure there is strong engagement, resources and commitment of Champion/Sponsor/Line Mgr prior to starting a project.  Planning upfront is critical to ensure project success.
  • All projects should be signed off by a Finance and Operations Mgr to avoid future “fighting”.

Leadership Behavior (multiple speakers):

  • Encourage leadership to change their behaviors to become more “advocates and teachers” to help motivate, encourage, and share their knowledge.
  • When teaching leaders Six Sigma education, take it slow and make sure they fully understand to avoid potential future adversity.
  • Need Leadership’s commitment to sustain long-term process improvement

Finance & Process Improvement Team:

  • For Xerox, and Kaplan Higher Education, it has worked very well for Process Improvement team to be aligned under Finance.
  • It has accelerated Process Improvement acceptance within the business since Finance controls the purse for the business and it improves Process Improvement’s accountability since Finance wants “Proof” of project savings.
  • Align project savings with department budgets.
  • A finance person is always recommended to sign off on project savings.

RBC Bank (Jennifer Thompson):  Continuous Certified Greenbelt/Champion Engagement 

  • Goal:  Increase Effectiveness of Process Improvement Program by keeping people engaged
  • E = f (Quality of change, acceptance of change)

Continuous Engagement Strategies:

  • Bi-Annual Internal LSS Conference for GB’s
    • Education
    • Networking
    • Celebration Certification
  • Monthly Lunch and Learns
    • Education
    • Continuous Encouragement
  • Champion Roundtable
    • Program Tracking
    • Continuous Feedback
    • Continuous Encouragement

CLG (Annemarie Michaud) Improving Behavior Effectiveness To Drive Business Results

  • Approximately 80% of behavior is driven by consequences
  • Create positive and negative reinforcements to increase desired behavior
  • Align desired behavior with desired goals
  • Put in place consequences to drive behavior
  • Behavior change environment will create long-term change

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