Prior to his early retirement, Brian Joiner was Chairman and co-owner of Joiner Associates, a nationally recognized management consulting firm. Prior to Joiner Associates, Brian was a UW professor. He is the author of Fourth Generation Management and co-author with Peter Scholtes of The Team Handbook, published by Joiner Associates and one of the best-selling business books of all time, having now sold over one-and-a-half million copies. Brian was a protege of W. Edwards Deming and has received the Deming Medal, the Shewhart Medal, the Hunter Award, the Ott Award, and the Wilcoxon Prize, to name just a few. Brian is at this time is contributing to greater health care solutions through his work at Joiner Associates LLC.
Related Podcast and Transcription: Thoughts on Lean and Dr. Deming from Brian Joiner
An excerpt from the podcast:
Joe: In today’s the world, does the original seven quality tools still fit?
Brian Joiner: I think all those things are still very important. Lean, I think, is very important. I’m not so high on Six Sigma. One thing, that I think Six Sigma made a major contribution to, was the process of construction and developing capabilities that, from the beginning. They had this notion that you needed to develop people to high levels of confidence to help others do this stuff. They came up with the notion of the black belts and the greenbelts and so on, and that was a real innovation.
We at Joiner Associates, and the other thing that happened are that companies, we had one of our clients at that time got heavily into Six Sigma, one of the early companies to do that, and we already had a thing that was like the black belt training but wasn’t quite as rigorous, and it included more of the people aspects of consulting and how you get teams to work together and so on, but it had the basics of it, which are para-statisticians training, like paramedics and other things like that.
We had that, but what we never had was the ability to get the company to put the high potentials into the course. That’s what made that hum, I think, was special, was that they had the high potentials, learning and learning by doing it themselves before they go out and try to help other people, getting good at it themselves that creates a whole new culture. That was a big, big impact from the Six Sigma. I think that the content of it is okay. Lean has much better content, and I think they had better content even in the beginning approaches. We didn’t have that access to the high potentials to make that work.
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