Dr. Mikel J. Harry (1951 – 2017) was the Co-Creator and Chief Architect of Six Sigma. He was my teacher, my mentor, my research partner, and my friend.
The book Learning to Think… Leadership: Understanding Dr. Mikel J. Harry’s Six Sigma Way of Thinking was written to identify, elaborate on, and link Mikel’s thought systems into a comprehensive model for Leadership thinking. The book necessarily was written at a technical level that may be difficult for lay people and those unfamiliar with Mikel’s work to understand. Learning to Think… Leadership Training is a level that is more easily understood and is written in recipe form so that Anybody can learn to think like a Leader.
This training is intended for a universal audience who want to move their thinking from ordinary to extraordinary whether it be in a role for their professional life or their personal life.
Do an internet search on “What is Leadership” and you will find a seemingly infinite number of explanations. I have read and considered many of them. Most of these explanations provide the desired characteristics or traits desired for a Leader. But characteristics and traits are more about nature and difficult to change or to create in a person. I would love to be 6 feet tall and an operatic voice, but neither of those is likely to happen.
While researching for my book, I came to realize that Leadership starts with Thinking and that Mikel’s thought processes provided a pathway for teaching Anybody how to think like a Leader in a teachable, repeatable, proven way. Based upon my research I defined Leadership as follows:
Leadership is defined by the way you think and your ability to share the way you think with others so that they too can be leaders.
This training is designed to teach those that know nothing about Leadership how to think like Leaders and to teach those that are Leaders how to teach others to think like a leader so that they too can become leaders.
Six Sigma has been identified as one of the 10 top management innovations in the last 150 years and Mikel trained many of the World’s top organizations mostly focusing on the top 5% of the organizations' employees which were the best of the best.
Mikel led the transformation at General Electric and had trained many Champions and Belts. Jack Welch, CEO at the time, challenged Mikel by asking, “What about the other 95% of my employees?” Mikel had to answer simply, “I don’t know.” Jacques Nasser, former Ford President, and CEO commented to Mikel after Ford’s successful deployment, “If you could just teach us how you think.” Mikel developed The Great Discovery for that other 95% so they could understand how to use the Six Sigma Way of Thinking in their home life, personal life, and work life.
After years of reflection, Mikel concluded only about 10% of the people he trained actually understood the philosophy underlying Six Sigma. While they were successful in completing projects at a high level and saving their organizations lots of money because Six Sigma includes teaching and helping Six Sigma professionals to select and use the right tool for the job and when you combined the best of the best with these tools, naturally they are going to be successful. But had they understood the underlying philosophy they would have been able to accomplish so much more.
If only 5% of the organization’s employees were taught and only 10% of those actually understood The Six Sigma Way of Thinking, Mikel’s way of Thinking, that means out of all the people Mikel trained, one 10% of 5%, one-half of 1% actually understood The Six Sigma Way of Thinking.
Mikel liked to say, “The focus of The Great Discovery is on human achievement, showing people from ‘the boardroom to the family kitchen table’ how to move from ordinary thinking to extraordinary thinking.
Learning to Think… Leadership training provides a deeper understanding of The Great Discovery and fills in the gap between kitchen table to the best of the best of an organization who hold Lean Six Sigma belts and it does it in a simple way that Anybody can understand.
Learning to Think… Leadership training is based upon the concept of Three Levels of Leadership Thinking:™ Breakthrough Strategy, Big Ideas, and Value Creation.
While there are Three Levels of Leadership Thinking there are actually four courses provided in Learning to Think… Leadership Training.