Lean Six Sigma in the NBA!


Posted by: meikah | 9 July 2008 | 9:32 pm

Lean Six Sigma at NBALike any other organization or league, the NBA is not spared from issues of transparency and leadership. So when Ronald Johnson was announced to assume the position as the NBA’s first-ever SVP for referee operations, and with a General attached to his name, a lot of eyebrows raised.

People were intrigued about the General attached to his name. But that’s another long story. What caught my attention was the mention of Lean Six Sigma.

Here are snippets from the ESPN article:

When Johnson talked, it was all process. The phrase he uttered more than any other was “Lean Six Sigma.”

The General idea had me thinking we might speak of referees with lean six packs. But lean six sigma?

Some phrases used by Johnson: “Ability to take real world problems … explain in simple terms … impact performance … Department of Defense … Lean Six Sigma … referee processes … Lean Six Sigma … practical experience … tens of thousands of employees … most not soldiers … like the business world … leadership … knowing about people … how to motivate people …”

This answer ended with Johnson pointing out, in a moment of pleasing humility: “The Commissioner did not pick me because of my knowledge of the game.”

Read more…

Yeah, the commissioner may be right in thinking that the league does not need a player to be at the helm. But someone who understands how processes work and knows how to run an organization. Armed with his obvious knowledge of Lean Six Sigma, Johnson could be the right person for the job.

We’ll see how this goes in the coming days.

Filed under: Lean Six Sigma, NBA, Sports

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