How do you identify the lean gene? How do you find higher efficiency mavens, employees who naturally cultivate an environment where smarter processes improve value?

Today we’ll address why C-level thinkers lean on lean, while pure operations efficiency experts may find Six Sigma more appealing. We’ll ask you to consider the differences, because we believe the customer-centered leadership team prefers one over the other.

I recently had the benefit of listening to a C-level leader of a large and growing global company speak about his company and their industry role for nearly 90 minutes. His company has grown consistently since he became the key strategist and decision maker for them about six years ago.

In the Q&A an audience member asked him whether he was more of a Six Sigma advocate or a lean leader. His quick and sincere response underscored for me the differences when hiring for that second of three key skill sets, what we call an efficiency maven. He explained that Six Sigma’s processes do eliminate defects, do reduce waste, do improve quality and efficiency. However, ‘lean is where we live’ is how he put it, ‘and that remains a cornerstone of how we do business.’

What he meant was that adding value to the customer’s experience every day is what lean is about. Lean gives you the right focus, that value-added focus.

Will the customer perceive it as adding value? Cutting out wasteful or unnecessary steps is a smart step when the customer perceives that change is adding value. Of course, both efficiency philosophies, lean and Six Sigma, know the critical importance of metrics – always monitoring where and how we can get better.

People with this gene breathe it, and their resume and their references quickly quantify adding value to the customer through their efficiency expertise. Our thought is that second key skill-set when you’re hiring an efficiency expert; pick their brain about their key focus in improving efficiency. If their point of reference is simply to improve quality and efficiency, they’re missing the lean gene. If they think, “How can we create value for the customer,” as their first reference point of an efficiency conversation, you just found that lean gene, someone who’s passionate for efficiency who will grow your business.

We talk to them every day; give us a call.

Dan Toussant, your Executive Recruiter, shares planning tips for hiring sales professionals. He suggests hiring managers consider three things: Expectations, Testing, and the Process and Timeline. Tune in for the details.

Visit Dan’s website, Dan Toussant & Associates, for more recruiting information.

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