If you are like many of us that are looking to improve our personal skills, you may have thought about taking a course or two. Colleges promote their “executive MBA” programs but too often these “MBA” programs are a lot of work, time and money for very little payback. A friend of mine who is a technical recruiter remarked that she was surprised more people had not discovered the value of “Lean Six Sigma” training. It provides productivity skills that the average college graduate does not learn in school.

Lean Six Sigma is a hybrid combination of Lean and Six Sigma methods that has been proven to bring genuine benefit to the employer and the employee. Lean concepts are aimed at eliminating waste from the processes, increasing speed and focusing on what customers consider to be quality, while Six Sigma eliminates the process variations and improves the process according to the customer definitions of quality using specific metrics. If you are trained and certified in this improvement technology you are a valuable asset that is reflected in the higher pay individuals with this training receive.

If you are skeptical, there is no need to initially commit to an expensive training program until you are sure it is for you. You can purchase The Six Sigma Handbook by Thomas Pyzdek and learn what is required to master this technology. Afterwards you can study more and then become certified in a step by step process.

Learning new skills is the best way to pass the time if you are caught between jobs. Rather than watching the news report the high unemployment rates, you can be preparing yourself for a better position than the last. When you scan the want ads next time and see “Lean Six Sigma” as a requirement you could be ready to apply. Employers also like to know they are getting an employee that was willing to invest in their own skill sets too. Learning Lean Six Sigma is a win-win situation for you and your new employer.

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