Lean Six Sigma: Growing Globally, Ignored by Japan

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Lean Six Sigma has grown in an English Environment by 16 times in 2 years!


Hi, this is Mike Negami, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.


I’m Japanese, but living in NJ and earning a living with Lean Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma was born in the USA as a quality and process improvement methodology, but it is evolving as a business strategy method these days because of the synergistic effect when Lean and Six Sigma were merged.


The majority of people in the USA may not know the difference between Lean Six Sigma and Six Sigma. Now a days, in our industry, when people mention Six Sigma, it means Lean Six Sigma. On the other hand in Japan, generally speaking, the majority of people may not even know Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma sounds a bit redundant, so from now on I’ll call it ‘Lean Sigma’.


Around two years ago, I was requested to make a Lean Sigma introduction DVD. I included a comparison of its popularity between the USA and Japan. I searched for “Lean Six Sigma” on YouTube.  The number of results at that time was 3,240, meanwhile the same search in Japanese was just 12.


I remember that I mentioned Japan was very behind in Lean Sigma even considering YouTube was behind in popularity there.  Now two years later, I conducted the same searches again. The search in English had increased to 54,500, which is a 16 times increase.


How much has Lean Six Sigma grown in Japan?


I was excited and looking forward to seeing how many times it had increased in Japan.  What I saw shocked me. The search results were just one. Can you believe it? It’s become to less than 10%. In English, 54,500, on the other hand, 1 in Japanese. It’s just unbelievable.


Lean Sigma allows me to live well in a foreign country (Again I’m Japanese.). I’m succeeding with many improvement projects across departments with this methodology, so I realize the power of Lean Sigma every day.


Furthermore, I love Lean Sigma. It was very sad when I discovered it’s totally neglected in my country. It, for me, feels like as though I found out my child was ignored by classmates.


As I’m Japanese and a Black Belt and I would like more people in Japan to know about Lean Sigma, I’ve started uploading this video in English and Japanese. I’ll be showing you more info about Lean Sigma in 3 minutes, each time.”



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