Through the Fog

This morning (Monday, Feb. 20th) I drove from my home to my office in Marion in very dense fog. As a matter fact, I had heard on the early news that there was a severe fog alert out for the morning. It has been a long time since I have driven in such dense fog. As I drove the back roads through the country, I realized that these are very familiar roads to me…I drive these roads several days each week. I know where all of the stop signs are, the curves and the valleys along the road. I know where to turn, where the speed limits change from 55, to 45 to 35. So, one might say, I could drive on auto pilot in this fog. However, I think we would all agree, that would not be a very wise thing to do. As we all know, things can change. Some areas as we are driving in the fog may be easier. It may not be as dense in certain areas and allows us to see a bit further ahead. At other times, there might be an obstacle in our way that we don’t see until the last minute, such as a deer crossing the road (which, fortunately, did not happen to me). The dense fog complicates this because it impairs our visibility. So, I found myself driving slower, being more intentional, more cautious and making sure I was aware of all of my surroundings.

This got me to thinking about the parallel for many organizations. Some organizations navigate very well through the fog. Others have a difficult time seeing what is ahead. Visibility is limited. There are obstacles in their way they don’t see. And this impacts their effectiveness, their employee engagement, turnover, the ability to attract and retain a qualified workforce and most likely, their overall bottom line.

Organizations need to have a plan when the fog rolls in. And there are times when that happens – suddenly and unexpectedly, whether it is due to outside forces (i.e. the economy) or internal forces (change in leadership, shift in supply and demand). How can organizations be strategic about navigating these treacherous roads? There are several things that can be done.

Begin with a mission and vision that serves as the foundation for all that you do. This is your organization’s lighthouse in the dense fog. It helps people see their way. Establish a long-term strategic goal and develop an action plan with S.M.A.R.T. goals. And then use it…refer to it…update and refine as you go along. Get input from your employees – the ones who are doing the work. You would be surprised how many great ideas they have – they just need to be asked and given the opportunity to share them.

Once the fog lifts and you are comfortably back ‘in the driver’s seat’ with clear visibility ahead, be sure to say thank you to those who helped get the organization through the fog…i.e. the challenging time. Begin to look ahead and plan for the next time the fog rolls in…because, as we all know from experience, it will.

AEC’s Partnership with MYCAA

MyCAAOur Center launched in February 2016 new online non-credit courses designed specifically for spouses of active military personnel to take advantage of the MyCAA scholarship workforce development program. The scholarships are funded by the Department of Defense and provide up to $4,000 of tuition assistance to eligible military spouses.  Scholarships can be used to register for dozens of the Center’s online courses that lead to certificates and certifications necessary to gain employment in high-demand, high-growth, portable career fields and occupations. A few examples are pharmacy technician, human resources specialist, childcare specialist, corrections specialist, legal writing specialist, and IT network specialist.

  • Spouses of active duty service members in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2 of any branch of the military are eligible, including activated Guard and Reserve (but excluding Coast Guard). 
  • So far, we have 32 participants and counting in the MyCAA program.
  • Go to go.osu.edu/mycaa for complete details and see the comprehensive list of courses.

FRANK DISCUSSION #1

“As a learning leader in your organization, which program outcome is more important to you: The learners remembering what they learned OR the learners applying what they learned?”

Gibson, Frank 2013 Staff page

Frank Gibson, AEC Program Manager

As you think about the question, take a few minutes to reflect on your career and the learning events you have led. What were your expectations of the learner and how did you assist them in applying what they learned? What kind of structure needed to be in place? What resources were needed (time, tools, etc.)? What worked? What didn’t work? What barriers interfered with the follow-up?

Reflecting on my career, I see my approach to learning has changed over time.  Early on, my approach was more informal, less-structured, and guided by very little in the way of lesson plans. It was a more intuitive and “Just-In-Time” approach to instruction. As I moved up the ladder, my approach evolved to that of a coach. I’d share a few of my experiences, question them, and then call them to action at the end….not telling them what to do per se, but rather aiming to trigger their thoughts about how they might do things differently. Now that I am in the business of education/training, everything about my approach is more formal, structured, planned, written and timed out, with reinforcement and coaching throughout and after the event.

When it comes to training others, first and foremost I focus on enabling the learner to apply what they learned as quickly as possible. With interpersonal skills, for example, I remember acting as a “champion” for 14 managers/ supervisors after the learning event to coach them on using the tools presented in the class to successfully apply what they learned.

In summary, both remembering and applying are important:  remembering the material is required to repeatedly apply what has been learned, and this enables mastery of the new skill or knowledge on the job.

You may want to do a self-assessment as a learning leader. In thinking about your most recent programming efforts, to what degree have you engaged participants in a timely follow-up/support/evaluation? Do you follow a Standard Operating Procedure to assess the degree to which your learners are remembering… and applying?

What are your thoughts?

Frank Gibson is a Program Manager with OSU’s Alber Enterprise Center.

Related Articles:

Understanding the Voice of the Customer in Education

Voice of the CustomerA critical component of Lean Six Sigma is understanding the Voice of the Customer. This concept is essential to identifying activities that are value-added and non-value added or wasteful.

In education it may be agreed that the student is the customer as they are the recipients of the outcomes of the institution. Some disagree with this concept thinking that we are unable to satisfy the customer. At one of my presentations someone in the audience indicated that satisfying the customer in education “the student” means giving them all “As” and that was impossible. Of course this is not correct – this is not what customer satisfaction is about.

Norma Simons, President of Performance Innovation LLC and AEC Solution Partner

Norma Simons, President of Performance Innovation LLC and AEC Solution Partner

In the education space the concept of the “Voice of the Customer” has a different meaning than it does in the broad world of consumerism. We tend to think that customer satisfaction rests only on the fact that there is a financial exchange between the customer and the person delivering the goods and that the customer finds value in the purchase.

We need to satisfy the needs of the customer – the student, but what does that mean? It means we need to deliver what is considered as a quality education -one that is delivered so that the student is functional in the wider society. If individuals are able to graduate but cannot either get a job or function at their required capacity, then regardless of what was learned and the grades earned then a quality education was not delivered.

Customer satisfaction therefore is not a passive interaction. For the student to be satisfied, it requires the student to collaborate with the instructor and several different individuals within the institution. The student’s success requires a partnership with the institution which should be promoted and nurtured.

Understanding the Voice of the Customer is a process, a mind-set, a shift in thinking, a culture that needs to be embraced by the entire institution.

Apart from the student, there are several customers who are vested in the education outcome:

  • The parents of the students who might bare some financial responsibility regarding payment of fees and physical and emotional support of the student
  • The loan institutions who might provide assistance to the students
  • All the areas of the institution (business office, book store, advisors, job placement office and other areas) which support or interact with the students directly or indirectly
  • The potential employers who expect a certain level of performance of the students after graduation
  • The institution itself who expects that the performance of students and their ability to be received in the wider society will build the reputation for the school

Well this is my opinion.

To read more on this topic, see the New York Times January 3, 2010 article below:

http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/are-they-students-or-customers/#edward

In this article “Are They Students or Customers” five professors from different business schools weigh in on the debate.

“Students are investing time and money with a purpose in mind. The school that does not serve that purpose will not survive.” Stephen Joel Trachtenberg is president emeritus and professor of public services at the George Washington University.

This blog is dedicated to the team at Alber Enterprise Center of The Ohio State University.

Norma Simons is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, president of Performance Innovation LLC, and an AEC Solution Partner.  Norma heads a team of qualified professionals in the areas of Lean and Six Sigma.  Her success is attributed to her unique integration of performance improvement systems such as Lean, Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma, quality management systems, business operating systems, and balanced scorecards that have enabled the effective execution of organizational strategy and, ultimately, bottom-line results.

 

Employee Training: Part 1

DSCN0345When we ask “What is employee training?” it is not surprising that we get different responses.  Of course, no one particular answer is more correct than another.  One definition of training to consider is as follows: Training is the process whereby people acquire capabilities to perform jobs.  No company wants poorly trained employees.  Their mistakes can be very costly to your company.  Training provides employees with specific, identifiable knowledge and skills.  Sometimes we will talk about training and development together.  Development is different than training. Employee development is broader in scope and focuses on employees gaining new capabilities useful for both present and future employment.  Training may include “hard” skills and “soft” skills. A “hard” skill would be learning how to operate a machine or piece of equipment.  A “soft” skill would be how to effectively communicate with other employees.

In this series of articles, we will discuss several key components of employee training.  These include the following:

  • Training defined.
  • Strategic training approach.
  • Four phases of the training process.
  • Types of analysis to determine training needs.
  • Internal, external and e-learning training delivery methods.
  • Levels of training evaluation.
  • Intercultural competence training for global employers.

We have seen contemporary training in companies change considerably over the years.  Factors affecting the changes include the competitive environment and technology.  Four specific areas have been affected.  Each area is discussed below:

A. Organizational Competitiveness and Training

Companies realize that training their employees is important to a successful business.  Estimates say approximately $60 billion is spent annually on training in the U.S.  On average this expense is 1.5% – 2.0% of payroll expenses.  This data is from a study conducted by The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).  Training can be compared to “continuous improvement.”  If your employees are not properly trained, you could lose competitive advantage in the market.  Retraining good employees is enhanced by an effective training program.

B. Knowledge Management and Training

Historically, competitive advantage among companies was measured in terms of physical capital.  Today, “intelligence” is considered a raw material used by “knowledge workers.”  Knowledge management is the way a company identifies and leverages knowledge in order to be competitive.  Technology can help transmit knowledge, but having technology does not mean employees will use it to manage knowledge effectively.  Knowledge management is a conscious effort to get the right knowledge to the right employees at the right time.  This way it is shared and implemented in your company.

C. Training as a Revenue Source

Many companies make a profit from selling training.  In some cases, training is included with a product purchase, for example, a new human resources information software package.  Purchasing a new machine for the production department can be less than successful without proper training from the manufacturer.  Future sales can be increased by providing product training.

D. Integration of Performance on Training

Job performance, training and employee learning must be integrated to be effective.  The link between training and job performance is critical.  Let’s look at safety fall protection personal protective equipment (PPE).  If your employees were simply shown a training video it is doubtful that the equipment would be used properly.  As an alternate method of training, the trainer could demonstrate how to properly put on the equipment, have the employees put the equipment on themselves and provide real-time feedback.  We think it is obvious which training method works better.  Other topics could incorporate everyday business issues as learning examples.  This would increase the realism of training exercises and scenarios.  This method integrates training, learning and job performance.

John M. Turner, Ph.D. is the President of JMT & Associates and a solutions partner who has been providing quality human resources consulting and training to Alber Enterprise Center’s clients for several years.  Please contact info@alberosu.com for more information on John’s services.

Using the SIPOC Model to Break the Silo Culture

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Managers often see large and complex organizations from a functional or vertical view.  This works in some cases where individuals are close to subject matter experts.  In this environment subordinate managers tend to perceive other functions as enemies rather than partners.

This silo structure prevents interdepartmental issues from being resolved.

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Each department has its goals and there is often competition for limited resources.  The result is sub-optimization of the organization – one department being able to meet its goals at the expense of the organization.

The traditional approach shows a silo structure where separate and autonomous groups are unconnected and each department’s manager becomes the customer.  Activities take place but value to the end customer may be compromised.

If the organization is small, then the traditional vertical organization may be sufficient to get things done and still meet the requirements of the customer.

 

The traditional mindset is- if each piece is managed then the needs of the end customer are met.  This is erroneous.

The silo structure often gives rise to a silo culture, one that does not encourage collaboration, but instead perpetuates the “blame game” and “finger-pointing”.  There are several structures within the organization that supports this behavior.  In some cases, there are functional metrics which conflict with the overall direction of the company, in other cases the reward and recognition system supports the silo culture.

The SIPOC template moves organizations away from this and provides the steps to create a customer focused organization.

What is SIPOC

The acronym means – Supplier, Input, Process, Output, Customer

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In the SIPOC model, it is necessary to have a feedback system – feedback between the customer and the process, and between the process and the supplier.  The feedback loop ensures that the process is sustained and the organization does not revert to the old ways of doing things.

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Value of SIPOC

  • Promotes cross-functional collaboration – teams are able to work together to see the big picture
  • Improves knowledge on what happens outside of the department
  • Provides measurement not only on activities within a department but how they add value to the customer
  • A big tool for motivation -as employees begin to see the “big picture” and understand the role they play
  • In Lean Six Sigma the SIPOC model is vital for:
  • Promotes and helps sustain a process focus
  • Provides a foundation for process mapping and process management

Although organizations may be designed by specialties, the SIPOC model is useful to change how work gets done, and ensure that the needs of the external customers are met.  The tool provides the template for changing the culture of the organization from one that is confrontational to one that works across functional boundaries.  When this is allowed to happen, teams can identify and remove waste – activities that are non-value added in terms of meeting customer requirements.

The bottom-line is that the SIPOC model and Lean Six Sigma have the ability to change the thinking of individuals in the organization.  For more information, contact us or call 740-725-6325.

Norma Simons is Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, president of Performance Innovation LLC, and an AEC Solution Partner.  Norma heads a team of qualified professionals in the areas of Lean and Six Sigma.  Her success is attributed to her unique integration of performance improvement systems such as Lean, Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma, quality management systems, business operating systems, and balanced scorecards that have enabled the effective execution of organizational strategy and, ultimately, bottom-line results.

15 minutes could save your … strategic plan

W.I.G.We’ve all experienced it, or heard about it.  A team spends weeks or months developing a strategic plan, and nothing happens with it after the glossy document gets printed.  Why does this great new plan just sit on the shelf gathering dust?  Business scholars over the past two decades have been researching why plans fail to be implemented  1. The overarching theme of their conclusions: people resist change.  How do we address this challenge? Through a structured plan for execution.  Your team needs to commit to the plan, yet they are busy with their daily duties (the “whirlwind”) and they don’t take time to focus on the strategic plan.  An effective execution plan starts with committing to a series of 15-minute segments on planning and implementing the strategic plan.

Franklin Covey’s 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX)2 is one formula to follow. The four disciplines are:

Program Manager of The Ohio State University's Alber Enterprise Center

Program Director of The Ohio State University’s Alber Enterprise Center

1.   Select one or two “wildly important goals” (WIG) that drive your strategic plan and can be measured and tracked.
2.  Identify the activities that lead to achieving the WIG(s), ones that your team can influence.
3.  Create a compelling scoreboard: simple, visible to the team, shows the lead and lag measures, and tells immediately if you are winning.
4.  Establish a weekly cadence of accountability in which each team member commits to working on one or two of the lead activities as well as reports on the efforts toward the WIG.

This 4DX plan is easy to implement by committing to 15-minute segments for each discipline:

  1. 15 minutes to identify and establish your WIG from your strategic plan. If you need two WIGs, spend another 15 minutes on the second one.
  2. 15 minutes per WIG to list all of the leading activities required to meet your WIG.
  3. 15 minutes to determine how you will show (scoreboard) the team’s progress toward leading activities and WIG and where it will be displayed.
  4. 15 minutes per week – the same day/time each week – for the accountability meeting.

We facilitated a strategic plan for one of our clients a year ago. After following up with them to see their progress, they reported that the leadership team implemented a few goals but felt they needed our help to really drive the plan throughout their organization with all employees. They embraced 4DX and are starting to see results.

This works! Try it, and let me know how it works for you.

If you need help in setting up your 4DX plan, the Alber Enterprise Center can show you how. Call 740-725-6325.

Citations:

1:  Govindarajan, V., & Trimble, C. (2010). The other side of innovation: solving the execution challenge. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.
Gudmundsson, H., Ericsson, E., Tight, M., Lawler, M., Envall, P., Figueroa, M., et al. (2012). The role of decision support in the implementation of “sustainable transport” plans. European Planning Studies, 20(2), 171-191.
Hahn, W., & Powers, T. (2010). Strategic plan quality, implementation capability, and firm performance. Academy of Strategic Management Journal, 9(1), 63-81.
Kotter, J. (1996). Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Larian, L., Day, M., Backhurst, M., Berke, P., Ericksen, N., Crawford, J., et al. (2004). What drives plan implementation? Plans, planning agencies and developers. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 47(4), 555-577.
2:  McChesney, C., Covey, S., & Huling, J. (2012). The 4 disciplines of execution: achieving your wildly important goals. New York: Free Press.

Alber Enterprise Center honors organizations for outstanding leadership

(from left) Anne Johnson, Program Manager, Kathryn Brod, President & CEO of LeadingAge Ohio (award recipient), Myra Wilson, Program Director of Alber Enterprise Center (AEC) presented Brod with the Outstanding Achievement and Excellence Award for Collaboration in Framing the Future of Long-Term Care Services. Brod accepted the award for her leadership and continued efforts in assisting AEC and the LTSS consortium with an in-depth look in implementing solutions for the long-term care industry.

Four Ohio organizations and a Michigan consultant were recently honored for their outstanding impact in leadership by The Ohio State University’s Alber Enterprise Center.

The honorees were:  LeadingAge Ohio of Columbus, National Church Residences of Columbus, Uni-Grip, Inc, of Upper Sandusky, Cowen Truck Line, Inc. of Perrysville, and Performance Innovation, LLC of Novi, MI.

Each organization has partnered with the Alber Enterprise Center (AEC) to examine organizational challenges in their respective industries, streamline processes to enhance work flow, and/or receive executive training customized to suit their company needs.

LeadingAge Ohio, Columbus, received the Outstanding Achievement and Excellence Award for Collaboration in Framing the Future of Long-Term Care Services.  LeadingAge Ohio’s outstanding leadership over the course of the past year helped AEC make significant in-roads in identifying organizational challenges in long term services and support.  President & CEO of LeadingAge Ohio, Columbus, Kathryn Brod accepted the award.  Kathryn actively participated in AEC’s Long-Term Services & Supports (LTSS) Consortium and subsequently brought the activities of the consortium under the wing of the HR committee of the LeadingAge Ohio Board of Directors.  These continued efforts will assist AEC and the consortium to take an in-depth look in developing solutions that will make an impact for years to come.  In addition, Brod is a champion in maintaining the partnership between both organizations in moving forward and making an impact on front-line supervisors through their Leadership Challenge® workshops.

National Church Residences, Columbus, received Outstanding Achievement and Excellence Award for Collaboration in Framing the Future of Long-Term Care Services.  National Church Residences’ participation in AEC’s LTSS consortium and their efforts in implementing solutions to revitalize the long-term services and supports for elder care will impact this industry over the course of time.  Moreover, some of the staff’s involvement in AEC’s The BRIDGE facilitator training refined their facilitation process.

Uni-Grip, Inc., Upper Sandusky, received the Investment in Quality Management Systems award.  Uni-Grip’s financial investment in their quality systems and action steps to track measurements of key performance indicators led to their growth.  Within eight months of intense focus on change, a few of Uni-Grip’s impacts were:  reduction in weekly scrap, increase in yearly sales, reduction of past due orders and improvements in staff’s knowledge and awareness in all of these areas.

Cowen Truck Line, Inc., Perrysville, received Outstanding Achievement and Excellence Award for Positive Impact on Business from The BRIDGE: Issue Management Process.  Cowen’s successful utilization of AEC’s BRIDGE Process created the foundation that resulted in crafting a plan to take their organization into the next 40 years to serve their customers. A few areas that have been impacted include: hired new drivers, increased sales in 2015, and enhanced communication with drivers.

Performance Innovation, LLC, Novi, MI received the Outstanding Educational Partner Award for Excellence in Service to the Voice of the Customer.  The outstanding leadership and customer service Performance Innovation, LLC displayed over time helped AEC make an impact with their clientele.  President of Performance Innovation, LLC, Norma Simons accepted the award.  As one of AEC’s most valued educational partners, Simons exhibits great comprehension of Lean Six Sigma and skillfully communicates its complexity in a manner that is clearly understood by her class participants. In addition, Simons’ responsiveness to clients’ needs and flexibility in how her services are delivered whether it is online, face-to-face or a blended approach has shown proven results.

AEC’s Client Advisory Council half-day meeting concluded with the Awards Luncheon. The meeting objectives for council members were to provide feedback on AEC’s past services, input on how the Center can support the business priorities of clients, offer suggestions about new services AEC could provide and ideas for strategic direction.

The Alber Enterprise Center applies the resources of The Ohio State University, OSU Extension, along with a team of organization development consultants to enable Ohio businesses to positively impact economic growth.  For more information, call 740-725-6325 or visit alber.osu.edu.

7 Ways to Align Strategies Within your Organization

vision_and_alignment-325090-editedDo you run your company, or business unit, like items on a checklist?

This could mean that the organization is not aligned and that you are generating waste.

“Great Performance is 1% Vision 99% Alignment” Jim Collins, author of Good to Great

Every organization or institution, for profit or non-profit, is required to achieve results.  The method of getting those results can be structured, or unstructured.

In most cases organizations may have a vision, yet manage by using a strong silo structure.  Every department has its goals and do the best to achieve the stated objective but activities may conflict with the work of other departments.

There is a certain level of waste as groups within organizations work against each other.

Norma Simons, President of Performance Innovation LLC and AEC Solution Partner

Norma Simons, President of Performance Innovation LLC and AEC Solution Partner

Can you achieve results?  Most definitely!!  Most companies and institutions achieve success for years with this model.

However, the problem becomes difficult when changes have to be made over a short period of time.  Such changes may include:

  • Radical changes in the economy
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Quick changes in existing customer requirements
  • New markets with new demands
  • The company hires new employees
  • Radical changes in the use of technology, etc.

Question: So how can you ensure that you change and still achieve organizational alignment?

Answer: Develop a Structured Business Operating System.

How can this be achieved?

  1. Vision Mission Values–Begin with a clear understanding of the vision, mission and values.  If they do not exist, then the management team should spend time to document them in a way that is clear and concise.
  2. Strategic Objectives–Document the strategic objectives of the organization as a whole.  Once this is done then this should be in a strategy map (a one page document summarizing the strategic objectives) so that it can be clearly communicated throughout the organization.
  3. Performance Measures (KPIs)– Based on the vision and strategic objectives top management should identify the top 10 key performance indicators (KPIs) that should be used to track performance.
  4. Standard Documentation–Each measurement should be placed on a run chart that shows performance over time.  A Pareto chart can be used to document the top areas that impact performance.  Problem solving teams should then identify the root cause of the performance and solutions that need to be in place for improvement.
  5. Deployment–The key performance measures identified by top management must be deployed in all areas of the organization.  This allows all employees to keep track of activities in each area and to be a part of problem solving activities.
  6. Review–The entire organization needs to have a systematic review process that focuses on key performance measures created in each area.  During the review process, teams evaluate the performance metric and the results of problem solving activity.
  7. Visual Management–The visual management system contains information on the key performance drivers in each area, and results of problem solving activity.  The system serves to communicate the progress of the company as it relates to key areas.

Every organization performs all these and more – so this is not new.  However it is the use of a structured process that will ensure that the organization can achieved expected results in a short time as well as promoting employee engagement.

At a recent luncheon for The Ohio State University Alber Enterprise Center (AEC), I was asked to deliver the following presentation.  Flip through the SlideShare “Aligning Strategies with Operations” to get a few ideas on how to achieve alignment.  

For more information about aligning your processes, contact us at 740-725-6325. 

Norma Simons is Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, president of Performance Innovation LLC, and an AEC Solution Partner.  Norma heads a team of qualified professionals in the areas of Lean and Six Sigma. Her success is attributed to her unique integration of performance improvement systems such as Lean, Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma, quality management systems, business operating systems, and balanced scorecards that have enabled the effective execution of organizational strategy and, ultimately, bottom-line results.

Begin Your Green Belt Journey Today: Lean Six Sigma Registration

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Program

The Ohio State University’s Alber Enterprise Center Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Program

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a methodology and way of thinking that enhances the performance of an organization.  It first was applied in the manufacturing industry but now it is being utilized in healthcare, government, education and several institutions.  LSS provides a template to simultaneously reduce waste, improve the quality of products and services, improve customer satisfaction and increase profitability.  Lean Six Sigma certification requires participants to not only learn the concepts but to demonstrate understanding of concepts through application in simulation projects.

Norma Simons, President of Performance Innovation LLC and AEC Solution Partner

Norma Simons, President of Performance Innovation LLC and AEC Solution Partner

What is a Blended Approach?

This approach combines the traditional classroom style with online self-paced learning using technology.  The extent to which this approach is used will vary depending on the type of technology, the organization, and the material that needs to be covered.  Because Blended Learning combines several different learning styles, it allows participants to work at their own pace and at their own convenience. Class time is then designed for discussing applications of concepts to the work environment and clarifying areas that might not have been clear.

What are the Benefits of a Blended Approach?

  • 24/7 online learning access.  Prior to class, participants learn the core material.  After class they are able to use the information as job aids.
  • Consistent training delivery.  The material as presented ensures that everyone receives the same message which ultimately ensures alignment of company processes.
  • More effective use of classroom time.  With participants at the same level, classroom time focuses more on knowledge application, discussions and hands-on simulations or application to company projects.
  • High retention & better mentoring.  Retention increases when users are able to control their own pace and can review material outside of the class, leaving class time for coaching.
  • Increased access to knowledge, overtime.  The online job aids provides the means to reinforce the learning process at the completion of the program.

What are the components of Blended Learning?

Flip through the “Lean Six Sigma” SlideShare to get a few ideas on the components of blended learning.  The slides also outline the requirements for our certification program.

Now that you have been introduced to the components of the blended learning program for LSS Green Belt, sign up for our next course by September 4, 2015.  For registration details about our Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Program, visit:  http://go.osu.edu/green-belt-registration or call 740-725-6325.

Norma Simons is Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, president of Performance Innovation LLC, and an AEC Solution Partner.  Norma heads a team of qualified professionals in the areas of Lean and Six Sigma. Her success is attributed to her unique integration of performance improvement systems such as Lean, Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma, quality management systems, business operating systems, and balanced scorecards that have enabled the effective execution of organizational strategy and, ultimately, bottom-line results.