J.B. Wilcox is a February 2018 graduate of Breakthrough Performance Group’s Black Belt class. An Aerospace Engineer, J.B. began his career in the Marine Corps as a jet fighter pilot after graduating from the United States Naval Academy, then, as a civilian, worked in the pharmaceutical industry. J.B. has extensive experience participating, leading, and creating internally-designed safety, sales, and quality improvement programs. He has also has experience as an entrepreneur.
J. B. Wilcox thinks everyone should know that Lean Six Sigma (LSS):
- is not just about Manufacturing. LSS is about delivering products and services that always satisfy THE CUSTOMER, across ALL industries.
- is more than a set of tools and processes. It’s about leadership and culture.
- is about continuous learning.
- is about working for a leader and an organization that continuously pushes to reach higher, to challenge the status quo, consistently strives to serve and create value for customers, and to work as a team to realize the vision.
An LSS story from his experience. Throughout his career J.B. has strived to leave an organization better than when he arrived and to leverage the knowledge and experience of his team members. He has applied LSS to safety standards, sales performance, manufacturing operations, and supply chain projects. Click here for a brief synopsis of how J.B. applied Six Sigma concepts to a supply chain project that resulted in reduced costs and time for both the supplier and the customer. <<Link to BPG Team in Action>>
How to Leverage LSS as an entrepreneur: As an entrepreneur, J.B. continues to apply concepts of observation and continuous improvement to his work. For example, when he was a trainer, J.B. would take time after every class to identify ways to improve the next session. He’s focus was on how to better meet the needs of his customers, so they could lead and manage LSS projects out in the “real world.” Additionally, he challenged himself to effectively and efficiently manage the diverse aspects of his workload, which in addition to teaching, included business development and administration. Each morning he’d, “What’s the best use of my time today?”
Lessons he can share with other entrepreneurs:
- Network. JB has worked to expand his connections by calling on business contacts, people he interviewed with while in job search mode, and getting involved with local universities and professional organizations to generate leads.
- Know your customer and be able to define your value proposition. J.B. recently became a mentor for the Pittsburg Founder Institute1where he mentors entrepreneurs. He says that entrepreneurs, especially engineers, often get caught up on how to deliver a product. He counsels them to focus first on defining their customer and the value they are providing. He tells his mentees to “Define your value proposition, then validate your proposition with your customers. Make sure you remain focused on your customer’s definition of quality and value.”
1 For more information on the Founder’s Institute go to: https://fi.co/
Click here to read J.B.’s case study: Lean Six Sigma Concepts Applied to Supply Chain Processes.