White Paper – Lean Series – by Productivity.Inc
How to Build Strategic Skill-Sets for the Long Term.
A recent study by executive search firm The Avery Point Group revealed that demand for continuous improvement (CI) talent is strong post-recession; it has more than doubled since 2010 and is up over last year. Of particular interest to the lean community, this eighth annual study also showed that the need for lean-centered skill-sets is accelerating, surpassing that for six sigma-centered expertise. In fact, lean skills are preferred by a margin approaching 70 percent.
What’s behind the trend? Tim Noble, managing principal and partner of The Avery Point Group, postulates that it’s related to “companies shifting their priorities to … get the best leverage with their continuous improvement initiatives and seeking the required talent to execute those initiatives.” That is, Noble says, companies are focusing in particular on lean as a hedge against the steep challenges of today’s economic climate, which they feel may be better served by lean’s more immediate and practical focus on waste, flow, and flexibility.1
With ever-growing demand for lean talent, combined with an ongoing need to position and realign CI initiatives, how can companies strategically develop the right internal talent in keeping with the constraints and opportunities of the current economic climate? Here is a concise perspective on current issues faced by organizations, and a practical approach for expanding the talent base to reliably move an organization forward over the long term.