Can you answer "YES" to each of these questions?

Do you have a seat at the planning table?
Do you know your total business operation?
Do you know how to improve your processes for positive results?
Can you make the cost ratio presentation on your human capital processes?

Everytime I attend a HR conference a recurring theme I hear is that HR needs to learn the language of business in order to continue to be a thriving part of your organization now and in the future. So, just what does that mean? Either by design or just evolution many departments within our organizations have become silos or islands unto themselves. The problem is that when we do this we lose the grasp ont he bigger picture –our organization. Some of you are probably already saying but this does not apply to me or our department. However if you turn to the writings of Dave Ulrich (HR Transformation) he will explain to you that this is a dangerous way to go.

The business world we liv ein changes on a daily basis, The new world calls for us to be proactive not reactive to events in the workplace. It calls for us to function as part of cross-functional approaches to our trials and tribulations. Mikel and Schroeder in their work “Breakthrough Management” suggest that we don’t know what we don’t know and if we don;t know what it is that is causing the problems then we can’t act on the solutions.

Manufacturing for years has used the six-sigma methodology to improve their processes. These same tools can be used highly successfully in the transactional world where HR resides.The methodology will enable you to know your total business. It will enable you to observe the problems in your processes. We are not asking oyu to use it to lower your FTE levels, this is not about pointing blame on an employee and saying this is the solution (although in some casses it might) but six sigma suggests the problem lies within your process.

Corporations like GE Healthcare, Cummins Engine, XCek Ebergy, IBM and others have seen the benefits of the six sigma approach and have used it to great improvement on the bottom line.

So, do you wat to answer yes to these five questions? Check with your local insitutions of higher education and see if they offer six sigma training and bite the bullet and enroll to learn the ins and outs of how it works, It will literally be the first day of the rest of your career, if you have one going forward.

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