Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse

I recently posted a note on the Performance Excellence and IQPC site in answer to this question:

Process Excellence Global Leaders – are the historical Lean Six Sigma flagships still the top of the pile?

Over the years the pioneers such as GE, Motorola and Toyota have been discussed in depth. However, is it still fair to say that they are the best example of a Process Excellence program and culture? Or are their new additions that match the standard or are accelerating ahead?

I’m interested to the get the communities thoughts on who you would see as the standout Process Excellence companies today and why – let me know what you think!

My perspective is this:

One thought is that we might consider looking at companies that have very good long-term total returns to shareholders and then ask the question what, if any, ongoing process/continuous improvement effort (by whatever name they call it) exists and how “good” is that initiative.

My hypothesis is that you can find companies with strong long-term TRS results that have, by any objective criteria weak/mediocre/non-existing CI efforts as well as some that have a robust CI effort. I mention this because it would be interesting to understand the reasons for the financial success of the former as well as to learn from the practices of the latter.

But in either case, we are starting from the standpoint of identifying bottom-line business success first, and then considering what role process excellence plays in that success and then finally the nature of the deployment. In my opinion, starting with the question of whose program is good puts the emphasis on the activity rather than the results.

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