Principle of war #7 – Unity of Command
Unity of Command: For every objective, there should be unity of effort under one responsible person.
This is probably the most frustrating principle when violated. If you have ever asked “Who is in charge?” unity of command was being violated.
For Lean Six Sigma strategies to work there must be leadership. In our Kaizen teams this person is known as the “Champion”. A champion is the person who is ultimately in charge and accountable for achieving the objective. Champions normally appoint a “Team Leader” to accomplish the objective of specific Kaizen events. Once again, a clearly identified person in charge. A strong champion makes the job of a Lean Six Sigma belt much easier. Champions serve both as protector (preventing other executives from stealing Kaizen resources) and motivator (inspiring the team to greatness).
Champions often kick-off Kaizen events by articulating expectations and explaining commander’s intent (Objective). If the team knows the objective a good leader will let them get creative in developing solutions, telling what needs accomplished, not how to accomplish it.
There is only one captain on a ship.