Lean Talent Demand Finally Edges Out Six Sigma
Some news to share with our Lean and Six Sigma Community:
Fourth annual study by executive search firm Avery Point Group finds Lean talent demand surpassing Six Sigma while companies continue to leverage both methodologies in a down economy
ATLANTA, July 15, 2008 -- After years of steady gains, Lean has finally achieved a slight edge over Six Sigma as the more desired skill set. According to an annual study by The Avery Point Group (http://www.AveryPointGroup.com), a leading national executive recruiting firm, the accelerating demand for Lean talent is an indicator that companies are increasingly looking to Lean as a means to help them combat the current economic headwinds they are facing.
"As an executive recruiting firm, we have a unique vantage point from which to observe the latest trends taking place in industry," says Tim Noble, managing principal of The Avery Point Group. "Trends in industry are often telegraphed into candidate requirements in job postings, and they can serve as a window into the latest corporate initiatives. Our annual study continues to offer useful insight into the latest trends taking place in the area of corporate continuous improvement."
Based on its fourth annual study of Internet job postings, The Avery Point Group found that Six Sigma may no longer hold its once dominant position in the world of corporate continuous improvement initiatives, as was found in its three previous annual studies. For the first time, the study showed that demand for Lean talent has grown to eclipse and slightly exceed that of Six Sigma. The growth in interest in Lean talent has not, however, come at the expense of Six Sigma; rather, this year’s study continues to confirm an overall increasing demand for continuous improvement talent, with Lean driving most of the recent talent demand growth.
The study also found, for those companies seeking Six Sigma or Lean talent, fully 50 percent are looking for practitioners to have both skill sets. Further, the study indicated that job postings are making increasing demands on candidates, requiring them to possess a much deeper knowledge and experience skill set with regard to their Lean backgrounds versus prior years.
"No longer is it acceptable for candidates to claim to have a Lean Sigma or Lean Six Sigma background," says Noble. "Companies want to see candidates that have the hardcore Lean experience gained in a true Lean transformation setting, and that can’t be gained from an environment where Lean is an afterthought or a lesser appendage to an existing Six Sigma program.”
Despite the rising prominence of Lean as the potentially new dominant continuous improvement methodology, Six Sigma is by no means past its prime, as evidenced by its continued talent demand resilience. It, however, means that companies, in the face of strong economic headwinds, are seriously rethinking the balance these two methodologies have with one another in their overall continuous improvement initiatives.
“This is certainly a major center of gravity shift from our first study in 2005 where Six Sigma talent demand outpaced Lean by more than 50 percent,” concludes Noble. “However, in the end, the real winner is any company that successfully engages in some form of continuous improvement, regardless of whether it is Lean, Six Sigma, or some other well-executed combination of both.”
For more information about The Avery Point Group and its executive search and recruiting services, contact Tim Noble at 678-585-9804.
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The Avery Point Group, Inc.
Leveraging Lean & Six Sigma in Executive Search and Recruiting
The Avery Point Group provides functional expertise and executive search focus in the areas of Six Sigma, Lean, operational excellence, plant management, operations management, supply chain management, and finance. As executive recruiters our practice services a wide spectrum of industries, spanning manufacturing, distribution and service-based companies.
With our Lean Six Sigma approach, experience and global perspective, we stand out from other executive search firms and add significant value for our clients in their search for leadership talent. Unlike other recruiting firms, we truly speak the language of our clients and candidates.
Our Lean Sigma Approach: Search excellence starts with the sound foundation of a well defined and consistent search methodology. Our Lean Sigma Search™ process incorporates a unique Lean Six Sigma approach to filling our clients’ staffing needs. Each phase of our executive search value stream process is designed to eliminate waste in order to move the search and recruiting process along efficiently and effectively, thus enabling us to exceed our clients’ expectations and requirements.
Our Experience: With our team’s decades of operations experience, we are uniquely qualified to help our clients find, assess and recruit leadership talent. Our key principals have held senior-level director, VP and Lean Six Sigma positions in manufacturing, distribution and service-based Fortune 500 companies. Our principals are Six Sigma Master Black Belt and Lean trained by globally recognized industry leading companies and have real-world, practical experience in their application. As subject matter experts in the recruiting of Lean, Six Sigma and operations talent, our firm has been featured in leading industry trade magazines such as: Quality Progress, Quality Digest and IndustryWeek.
Our Global Perspective: Our key principals have managed global operations and led key initiatives in Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Latin America and throughout Asia. Our principals, with their global perspective, understand what it takes to find, assess and recruit talent for companies to succeed in today’s global economy.