Finding joy at work with lean Six Sigma.

sunriseWhat if working together we could solve the toughest, most challenging, nastiest, annoying, painful, complicated problems that would lead to creating a workplace full of passion, joy, excitement, energy, reward, and lifelong friendships; where what you do each day actually made a difference in the lives around you.

Would you want to work there? 

Would you be excited to get up every morning to come to work?

I’ll bet you would! Unfortunately, many people I come in contact with tell me this is the opposite of the work environment they have to drag themselves into each day. This doesn’t surprise me one bit since Gallup’s research and my own research on employee engagement suggest only 30% of people are truly engaged in their work.

Why are so many people, essentially 7 out of 10, so uninterested in their work? For many I have talked with much of the reason for being so disengaged is that they don’t see the value in their work in how it impacts anything but the bottom line, of which they feel left out of when looking at their paychecks on payday.

It’s no wonder why so many are disengaged if they feel what they do each day makes no difference. Think about it just from a numbers perspective – if you work a typical week of 40 hours and have a lifetime career that spans 40 years that’s over 80,000 hours or 10,000 plus workdays that lead to no meaningful impact. Talk about a total waste of time and energy! Who wants to put in this kind of time and have it result in nothing?!?!

What does this have to do with lean Six Sigma? The opening paragraph to this post is part of the introduction for a book I’m finishing, and as I was writing the book one day a thought came to me regarding why we, or more specifically, why I do lean Six Sigma? What is it about lean Six Sigma, or process improvement in general, that has kept me wanting to get up every day for nearly two decades, well, most days, charged up and full of energy to teach and coach people to find a faster and better ways to do processes?

As I sought to find an answer to this question I discovered something about myself and the successful people I have helped. The discovery was that we do lean Six Sigma not for ourselves, but instead we do it for others. We do it to help others find joy in their work. We do it in love for others.

“We do lean Six Sigma to solve the toughest, most challenging, nastiest, annoying, painful, complicated problems that lead to creating a workplace full of passion, joy, excitement, energy, reward, and lifelong friendships; where what we do each day actually makes a difference in the lives around us.”

Again, we do lean Six Sigma to serve the needs of others. Our reward is in the impact using process improvement methods such as lean Six Sigma creates in helping others succeed. It’s not about us; it’s about those we help!

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3

The ironic thing about putting others first is that you too will reap a reward for what you sow in them when they blossom into something far greater than they could have on their own. If you are a lean Six Sigma professional or maybe considering a career change and pursuing a role in process improvement know the potential to do truly amazing transformational work awaits you when you put the needs of others first. If you are currently a lean Six Sigma professional and don’t have the joy I write about here maybe it’s time to shift your focus from yourself and what you’re getting to those you are helping and what they are receiving.

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