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Finding a consultant to guide, coach and even train your team is easy. Finding the best consultant is a much more difficult task. Any consultant can attempt to make improvements using Lean Six Sigma, but their success and more importantly, yours, highly depends on their core values, characteristics and experience.
An Effective Lean Six Sigma Consultant’s Core Values
There are a multitude of core values that a consultant should have that would benefit your team and your organization. Among them, arguably the most important are:
- Respecting people, their processes and the organization as a whole
- Holding themselves and other team members accountable
- Providing and promoting the sharing of knowledge
When these core values are present, it is likely that the consultant will be able to break down silos and nurture communication, allowing them to be much more effective at building buy-in and preparing and implementing a successful Lean Six Sigma initiative. These three simple, common sense values are not only indicators of a great consultants, but of great team members, so additionally, search for these gems within your company to join in on your effort to take your project farther, faster.
Characteristics To Watch For
Along with core values, we recommend watching for these specific characteristics when seeking the Lean Six Sigma consultant that will fit your needs best:
- Approachable: A welcoming, friendly demeanor goes a long way. It allows the consultant to open more doors and create long lasting, meaningful, effective relationships with important team members and stakeholders.
- Excited: Passion is an important trait of successful people. A consultant who truly believes in what, how and why they do what they do indicates a sense of higher purpose, increasing their performance much more than a simple monetary reward.
- Free thinking: Bringing in fresh perspectives allows the consultant to help your team break free from the unconscious habits or routines that tend to make up your team’s current state of mind.
Additionally, here are some benefits that an effective Lean Six Sigma consultant will provide.
Experience Does (and Doesn’t) Matter
Obviously, a Lean Six Sigma consultant with experience in your industry is an important factor to consider when selecting the best option. While most organizations tend to disqualify consultants without very specific experience, it’s not always the wisest decision.
A consultant’s track record as a whole is quite a bit more important than simply their experience inside of your (or any other) specific industry. A highly successful, effective consultant should be flexible – able to apply their expertise horizontally and vertically, to any industry or function. Here are some specific items to look for regarding a consultant’s experience:
- Detailed success stories: Consultants who use specific examples during the review process indicates hands on experience. Listen to learn if they can coherently explain the why, who, how and when of their successes.
- Sustained relationships: If a consultant conveys that they still have ongoing relationships with their clients, it typically means that they continually deliver great results. Creating and growing long lasting, sustainable, profitable relationships is a great sign of an effective consultant.
- A solid track record: Asking for references is a biased, limited method of verifying a consultant’s credibility. In order to obtain their entire story, search for their names and success stories online, ask colleagues or other professionals in your network if they’re familiar with their work. Put simply, do your own research – be more accountable for your decisions.
Searching for the best consultant based on your needs, your organization and your industry can be a daunting task. Our goal is to simplify your search by providing you with a free service that connects you with the Lean Six Sigma consultant or firm that has a highly successful track record to help ensure your individual projects or organization-wide initiatives achieve their intended goals. Contact us today and search smarter.