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Green Belt and Black Belt, and for that matter Yellow Belt and Master Black Belt are all recognized levels of competence around problem solving skills. These terms have been in use since the mid ’80s so their recognition is fairly broad across industries. That’s one of the advantages of the Belt-level terminology – it allows leadership from different industries to recognize and hire the level of expertise they need.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. For over 25 years, she's helped leading organizations like Amazon, Charles Schwab and Starwood Hotels & Resorts build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.