E-Learning or Experience?

I’m going to admit. I love a bargain or two. If there’s something I can do or purchase, at a discounted price, then why not?

Hence why I signed up to some of these discounted sites, such as Groupon, Wowcher, etc… You know the ones… you get a regular email, letting you know you could save 50% on a day out driving Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s.. or you could save 80% on getting your hair styled by a professional, well known stylist in the heart of London.

The latter i’ll probably give a miss, the Lamborghini however… now that is tempting. But then, this caught my eye…

Really? – you could become a Six Sigma Black Belt for £39?! – even better, it’s all on-line training.

Now – just to start off, I think on-line, e-learning is great – depending on what you’re learning.

It’s low cost, very effective and easily scaled up. I even learnt some of my coding via an Udemy course… which was all on-line.

My issue with this is  – the type of course it is. Indeed, Lean and Six Sigma can be taught in a classroom (hey… I was taught in a classroom)… and with the powers of technology, it seems that we are moving away from the classroom to on-line. Which is fine for some courses but not for this.

I’ll explain why…

Firstly, we play a lot of games in the classroom. There are a number of simulations. There is a Black Belt stood in front of you to whom you can ask numerous questions. The Black Belt has experience of doing, what you’re learning, in the real world… and could share some examples, what went wrong, hints and tips, and some reasons why you should do something in a particular way and not another.

Secondly, to be a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt… you need experience. To do a course, sit the exam and call yourself a Black Belt, in my opinion… doesn’t work – that’s just one part. You need to face real-life challenges, show that you can use the tools in real-life situations… that bring real change and real results.

Finally, the tools are one part of being a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. There’s the whole part of Change Management, Project Management, and various other areas that are not part of the tool set. But part of being a Black Belt.

Here’s the highlights in the original email…

And then the details…

In fact… 6 is not the number!  The number is what your process needs it to be. There’s a reason why it’s called Six Sigma… but many processes don’t reach that, can’t reach it… or in fact…. go beyond that number!

Yes, yes… I know, it’s marketing talk… it’s to entice people and it’s a play on words. I get it… I do.

But it comes down to experience. If you really want to learn about Six Sigma and Lean, i’d suggest you find someone in that field and learn from them.

If that’s not a viable option, then indeed, you can attend some training and on-line courses but start from the basics… learn the very basics of lean… why did lean start?… how did lean start?… who started the thinking behind Six Sigma?… What industry were they in?….

Similar to Karate…. you start off on White Belt, progress onto Yellow belt… a few belts later you’ll be on Green Belt… then a few more years (in fact, quite a few years)… when your Sensei thinks you are ready, you progress to Black Belt.

I see Lean Six Sigma the same way. It’s not about how quickly you can get to Black Belt. It’s about the experience, the knowledge and most importantly, the understanding of what to use… and when, that will help you, when you’re a Black Belt.

Inkquisitive Inspires – Interview Part 2

Following on from Inkquisitive Inspires Part 1 – this is Part 2! – That’s right, I asked the artist who’s turned his hobby into a career, and now travelling worldwide, attending sell-out tours…. a total of six questions.

In Part 1, Ink… kindly answered 3 of them… and here’s another 3, turning the conversation more towards his hobby, entrepreneurship and most importantly… innovation in art – do we need to innovate?

Some really important things to take away… mainly, you should have your own style, your own brand, your own way of doing things. Stand out from the crowd, don’t blend in…

Then there’s the entrepreneurial spirit that exists… and how many birthdays have you missed, trying to follow your dreams?

Hope you enjoy it…



What did I talk about at the Chief Innovation Officers Summit?

Last week, I was asked to come along to the Chief Innovation Officers Summit in London, and share my thoughts… on Disruption and Interruption.

I was more than happy to share my thoughts… and shared a few slides on why we should stop interrupting (and if we know, when we are interrupting) and start to disrupt. How can we disrupt? – by using technology and using data…. and most importantly, using Lean!

As followers of my blog… I thought, it’s only fair, I share a little more with you… so below, I created a little video (with my voice! – so it’s actually like, i’m talking to you!!) about my talk.

Hope you enjoy it!… and please feel free to share via social media, and with other folk, who may also enjoy it.

Inkquisitive Inspires – Interview Part 1

On this blog, as you may know, I tend to write and share all things to do with Lean, Digital, Innovation… basically, articles to inspire (and air my frustrations when I see opportunities for improvement!). Most of these are centered around Technology…

But from time to time, I like to interview people. People who have become successful. Successful, when they were told they couldn’t do it or were no good. Good to Great is what this person has become… and they’re inspiring others.

So who is this individual?

Well, his name is Amandeep, also known as Inkquisitive. He’s an artist. Had several world tours… in fact, sell-out world tours. He’s a true inspiration and a living example of ‘follow your dreams’.

I was lucky enough to ask him a few questions… (hope you enjoy the audio clips below! – there’ll be a part 2….!!)



Chief Innovation Officers Summit – London, Nov 2017

Folks, just to let you know – i’ll be a speaker at the up and coming Chief Innovation Officers Summit in London, this week!

There’s some great folks talking – including Google, BBC, Barclays and many more…

So, what will I be sharing…?

Well, as i’m writing my first book, and going through a few iterations (hoping for an Easter 2018) release, I thought… why not take the title of my second book (I know… I need to get the first one out), and base a conversation on that.

The title is – Are you Interrupting or Disrupting?

Now, wish I could share more – but that’s being saved for those who attend the conference. However, I will share some elements of the presentation with the followers of this blog, very soon…

… but it’s all about, how we, over time… trying to disrupt, become interrupters. We’re not really making it easy for our customer, through the various ‘bolt on’s’ but we’re in fact, making it a little more harder.  A little more complex. And therefore, why is it important to… (in the words of my Sensei) – understand, then to be understood.

Q&A with Arshiya Lal (Fashion Technology Expert)

How much do you know about Fashion? … you probably own some fancy footwear that you strut around in, on a Saturday night.

Combine Fashion and Technology – and you’ve got a whole new world where there’s some crazy things happening!

Wouldn’t it be great to learn more, from someone who has traveled around the world… studied in an Italian fashion house, in fact – traveled throughout Europe extensively, learning and understanding about fashion and technology.

Introducing Arshiya Lal…

Back home in the USA, and from North Carolina – I was able to ask Arshiya some questions about Technology, Fashion and the Future.

Google launch their new phone… Pixel 2

Yesterday, Google had a little event… where they announced a few things.

One of the announcements included the introduction of their new phone. The Google Pixel 2.

Now, whilst I could go through the whole event, share what was said and how it was described… go through all the functionality, etc… you should know by now.. this is a LEAN BLOG! – I like to keep things lean. So below is a video of the 2 hour event condensed into 19 minutes.

I’m going to be honest. I’m not that much into Google hardware – But welcome to my good friend Nathan McKay who is. He is very knowledgeable on all things ‘Google’ & Android.

I asked him, Share your Top 3 concerns about Google… (which he did!)

  1. They come at a bad time – Honestly, they do! Let’s look at it… Apple just recently had their’s, where they were able to ‘wow’ everyone with the lights, glitz and glamour.. oh, and their iPhone X. Then you’ve got Samsung’s event coming up early next year… and you know they’ll be sharing some really exciting features. So what do you do? – Do you go with Apple, where you know what you’re getting. Do you go with Google (by the way, they had supply issues with the first Pixel phone and were unable to meet demand) or do you wait for Samsung… and then make a choice?
  2. Google software on every device – They don’t hold anything back for themselves. They’re happy to release their software and make it available for every device. Samsung have better hardware, and they know they’ll get all the software available on their devices.
  3. They’re a Software Developer (following on from point 2) – The Pixel phone is built by HTC. They’re not a hardware manufacturer. They’re a great software developer. Let’s not even look at phones… look at Google Home. Amazon beat them to it, but introducing the Echo… and Google have been playing catch up since.

Well.. there you have it Ladies & Gentlemen. A very frank update from Mr McKay. Whilst saying the above, he also did mention… there are a few positives, one of which was – you’ll get the updates immediately on a Google Device!

In summary, It’s the Software that pushes the Hardware.

Preview of October 2017…

Firstly, Thank You to everyone who’s been supporting me on this blog journey. Hope you’ve enjoyed what I’ve been writing and sharing on here.

I thought i’d share a little preview into October, there’s some great things lined up… for example, i’ll be sharing a video from a Fashion Tech Expert who’ll be talking about… Fashion… and Technology.

I was thinking, I could write more here… but wouldn’t it be better if you could watch me talk about it – yes, i’ve finally recorded my first video!