How to Achieve Personal Growth Using Lean Six Sigma?

Note: This article is authored by Hanane Anoua, originally published on the Flevy Blog. You can read all of Hanane’s articles here.

“If you work hard for your job, you make a living. But, if you work hard on yourself, you can make a fortune.” — Jim Rohn

My first inspirational book, about change and personal growth, was about Total Quality Management. The first question that came to my mind, while reading Environmental TQM, was how can I apply this approach to achieve my personal goals? Many similar management philosophies, like Lean Six Sigma, came after to compliment this extensive management philosophy.

Lean Six Sigma and TQM are both quality improvement based systems. They both attempt to improve customer satisfaction and cost savings, by identifying the key sources of defects and provide adapted solutions. There are many similarities and differences between them, but my goal in this post is not to involve a technical debate; but to approach Lean Six Sigma & TQM from a personal development perspective. The aim is to adopt these approaches like a lifestyle or an improved way of living, to enhance our confidence, save our positive energy, and raise a higher quality life.

To achieve these goals, 5 steps to be considered:

Step 1: Specify the vision or the value.

Any renewal must begin by articulating a clear vision of what we would like to achieve and where it will lead us. We all seek success, a happier life, and financial abundance. But, they are all vague objectives; being ambiguous about them may hinder the process of achieving them. In other words, the more precise you are about your vision, the more likely to attract opportunities lined up with it.

How many of you would like to seek change and live a happier life? But still ignore what really make you happy. How many of you are searching for a new job? But unable to set clear goal; if it’s about a less stressed job, a more challenging one, or a job in accordance with your core values and beliefs.

A lack of a clear vision ends up with a lot of waste of energy, time, and the cost can be our health and happiness. We may end up living a life with a poor quality commitment, and a low self-esteem.

Some few thoughts to step forward:

  • Meditation: it can provide you with a forum of scientific benefits. “Some of the studies indicated that meditating even 20 minutes per day for a few weeks was already enough to start experiencing the benefits.” http://www.mediate.com/articles/benefits.cfm
  • Keep a bloc-note: write down your goals to make them explicit in your mind.
  • Be confident: confidence is not an inner talent, but a human attribute that can be nurtured throughout our journey.

Step 2: Make your own personal assessment.

Any change in our life should start by a personal assessment to understand where we are and where we would like to go. Our daily life routine becomes so crowded that we are unable to take time and think about change and improvement. Rarely when we devote time to identify our strengths and weaknesses, except relying on people’s evaluations and even judgment; also, to determine any unutilized talent or potential opportunities that are not explored.

When experiencing a crisis or a hardship, are you taking the time to understand the sources behind that crisis? Or simply adopting a mute mode. What are the negative thoughts than hinder you from becoming more self-confident and live a life with more personal empowerment? Are you a high tempered person and your reactions always lead to drastic results that you regret after? What do you do about them?

To achieve an accurate personal assessment, you have to be aware of your own skills and limits; your strengths and weaknesses. Many people would seek feedback from close friends that would help them get the information needed without any judgment.

This step is crucial and can be a waste of energy and effort if no action is initiated.

Step 3: Define the strategy or the flow.

Now, based on the vision you defined in the beginning, matched with your personal assessment, you will be able to set up a strategy and determine how you will achieve your goals.

Sometimes, the problem is not with the strategy or the actions defined, but how can we maintain a linear positive attitude during the whole process of achieving them? How many of you faced with a difficulty, would give up even before implementing your actions?

Some people may engage a coach, a psychiatrist or a mediator but at the end there is only you who can make the change! Only your focus and attitude that will determine your destiny.

Step 4: Take action for change and improvement.

You don’t need to be a hero or a leader to take action for change and improvement. You simply need to step forward for what matter most in your life.

The fear of not achieving a goal is worse than a failure. The first one can cripple you in a series of other fears, but the second one can enable you to learn from your mistakes and grow.

Step 5: Measure the results.

This step will enable you to fill the gaps and make the needed adaptations, independently of the results. The key element is perseverance, and determination.

Think about all the wastes you are experiencing in your life and how you can eliminate them to save your positive energy, and achieve a happier rewarded life!

Readers Are Also Interested in These Resources

Total Quality Management (TQM) (181-slide PowerPoint presentation)

Total Quality Process (TQP) (100-slide PowerPoint presentation)

Total Quality Management Frameworks (153-slide PowerPoint presentation)

I blog about various management frameworks, from Strategic Planning to Digital Transformation to Change Management. https://flevy.com