Over the past three decades Six Sigma has swept across the landscape of international commerce and distinguished itself as a new and better way of doing business. While the first generation of Six Sigma (G1) was focused on product quality, the second generation (G2) was concerned with business economics. In this context, it can be said that G1 was largely quality-centric and G2 was cost-centric.
Across that period of time (G1 through G2), Six Sigma grew in popularity at an astounding rate. Essentially, Six Sigma was rapidly becoming the “tool of choice” for driving business improvements to the bottom line. And now in the 2010’s, we’re seeing Six Sigma evolve again, to an even higher level. This new generation of Six Sigma envelopes the customer and provider, but the focus is on the creation of value. In this context, the third generation (G3) is value-centric.
Being value-centric means the customer and provider must concurrently realize full value entitlement in every aspect of the business relationship if that union is to grow and prosper. In other words, companies must now be outwardly and inwardly focused at the same time. An organization’s ability to create and exchange value (in a quality way) is what a good business is all about – from the customer’s and provider’s perspective.
In this sense, G3 is branded with the mantra: Quality of Business Versus Business of Quality. As we reflect on this mantra, the positive implications can quickly become overwhelming.
Simply stated, G3 creates higher levels of tangible value by focusing business leaders, operational managers, and key Six Sigma players on a simple, but highly effective four-phase process, called ICRA. These letters stand for the progressive flow of strategic activity leading to the on-going creation of value – Innovation, Configuration, Realization and Attenuation. Exhibit 1.0 presents the four phases of the ICRA Value Creation Strategy.
When considering ICRA as a strategic process, it is important to recognize that the Innovation Phase is about creating new opportunities for growth and improvement. From here, we are naturally guided to the Configuration Phase where channels are created to move raw ideas from visionary concepts to detailed plans.
Following this, the Realization Phase is invoked so as to transition the critical designs from mere ideas into a physical existence. Once the ideas have been manifested into a deliverable form, the Attenuation Phase seeks to identify and abate the many risks commonly associated with the act of realization. Such is the process of value creation.
The ICRA roadmap takes on even more meaning when it is crossed with the four primary domains of an enterprise – Market, Business, Product, and Process (MBPP). The resulting intersects of ICRA and MBPP reveal there are 16 core competencies of a world-class business. When these competencies are focused on the creation of value, the net effect is a comprehensive and unparalleled set of organizational capabilities. Exhibit 2.0 provides the ICRA matrix and 16 core competencies.
In summary, the ICRA strategy creates higher levels of tangible value by focusing business leaders, operational managers, and team leaders on a simple, but highly effective four-step process called ICRA, which stands for Innovation, Configuration, Realization and Attenuation – the 4 steps for achieving a distinct competitive advantage.
Business Phone: 480.515.0890
Business Email: Mikel.Harry@SS-MI.com
Copyright 2013 Dr. Mikel J. Harry, Ltd.