17 Aug The Moment It All Changed
By Greg Ward
How I discovered the route from “good” to “great”
Are you good at what you do? Have you ever stopped to wonder if you could be great at it – and what it would take for you to get there?
Everyone’s journey to this realisation is different, but for me, this “lightbulb moment” happened more than 20 years ago when I was an engineer at Ford in the UK. Regular training was part of the job, and by 1998 I had taken literally hundreds of courses over the years – some were great, some were okay, and some were (in my opinion) tick box exercises.
Then came the mandate to complete a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Black Belt course in Cologne, Germany, an assignment which would take me away from my young children for several months. To put it mildly, I was not impressed with the idea. “What a waste of time!” I thought to myself. “I can’t take another course!” (Not familiar with Lean Six Sigma? Click herefor an article I wrote not long ago explaining how this data-based methodology can drive efficiencies in work and life.)
How wrong I was! Yes, I missed my children but it didn’t take long before I realized that the course was having an immediate effect on my whole thought process. From day one I was hooked and from then on saw everything so much clearer. In fact, looking back, I know with absolute certainty that this was a turning point in my career.
Ford was a fantastic employer because as long as you were willing to develop, the company was willing to support, all of which had even more impact because the company’s leaders truly believed in the potential of Lean Six Sigma to turn the fortunes of the business around. Imagine, a whole workforce trained, motivated and driven to find a better way of working!
As the saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone. Later, when I moved on to a new job in a very different environment, I realized just how well I had been taught at Ford.
My new role was in the engineering department of Heathrow and its no exaggeration to say that I spent my first month in utter shock because after years of data-driven processes and efficiencies, it felt like this crucial department in the world’s busiest airport was running totally on perception.
Mentored by Managing Director Mick Temple (who was a true visionary), I set out to bring some real measurement to how the engineering department operated. It wasn’t long before we developed our own LSS training course, which we quickly rolled out to our teams. The results were evident for everyone to see and the positive impact on our effectiveness was a complete game changer.
Our success within engineering proved to the rest of the airport that Lean Six Sigma was not just a manufacturing tool, and this homemade course quickly made its way through the whole operation. In fact, one of my key decisions as Operation Director of Heathrow was to make sure we embedded Lean Six Sigma into our DNA.
From then on, I’ve used LSS everywhere I have worked, and I believed in it so much that 10 years ago I created Revive, a company that specializes in delivering training courses and consultancy services. Since then, we’ve proven through thousands of case studies that the LSS methodology works in any sector and in any other area of development, including leadership coaching, O&E and more. I can’t tell you how much joy I get in seeing hundreds of people who have been trained by Revive proudly adding Lean Six Sigma to their CVs and Linkedln profiles!
Throughout my career, LSS has helped me turn around whole operations, save huge sums to the bottom line for a variety of businesses and added immense value to the ongoing development goals for countless staff members, both in my own organisation and in the clients of Revive. Time and again, I’ve seen that if LSS is rolled out properly, with everyone from highest management to junior employees being taken on the journey of data-driven efficiency, it never fails.
If you are a business owner determined to thrive in the post-pandemic world, the value of integrating an efficiency-led mindset into your entire team cannot be understated. With a course schedule that can easily be integrated into your company’s work cycle, Revive offers a number of options for businesses looking to get an edge on the competition.
Likewise, if you’re in the job market and are determined to set yourself apart, the reality is that today’s employers are always looking for people who truly understand the benefit of operational excellence. Adding LSS certification to your CV is a step in the right direction and Revive has crafted courses specifically for individuals who are looking to take their job opportunities from good to great.
In other words, there’s a better way – you just have to be open for your own lightbulb moment.