LAS VEGAS-WCBF's Global Six Sigma Summit, held June 27 to 30, offered attendees a chance to hear three best-selling authors-Malcolm Gladwell, Dr. Subir Chowdhury and Joseph Grenny-offer their perspectives on decision-making, leadership and communication.

Gladwell, best-selling author of The Tipping Point and Blink, emphasized "the power of thinking without thinking," the subject of his latest book. He highlighted the power of snap decisions, and illustrated how these first instincts deserve more credit than most people usually give them.

Chowdhury stressed the importance of listening to the customer, enriching the business environment and developing leadership. "Whatever you did yesterday, do it better today," Chowdhury says.

Grenny gave an interactive presentation on "Crucial Conversations," coaching attendees through difficult problems they may face in Six Sigma.

Held at the Venetian Hotel, the Global Six Sigma Summit & Industry Awards were presented after extensive reviews by an independent, international panel of 14 leaders from business, industry and government. Jill Considine, chairman and CEO of Depository Trust and Clearing Corp., received the top honor as Six Sigma CEO of the Year.

Honors also were awarded to other U.S., Canadian and South African companies for adopting and applying lean and Six Sigma processes to achieve significant improvements.

Platinum Award for the Most Outstanding Organizational Achievement through Six Sigma:

As well as receiving the award for best achievement of Six Sigma in healthcare, New York-Presbyterian Hospital received the platinum award for the overall most outstanding achievement through Six Sigma.

Best Achievement in Innovation through Six Sigma:

Christus Schumpert Health System of Louisiana received the award for its approach in using the methodology to improve the system's revenue cycle and achieve major cost savings and efficiencies in financial operations for its three hospitals and a regional business office.

Six Sigma Vice President of the Year:

James O. Pearson, vice president of customer quality and Six Sigma at EMC Corp., received the honor for his leadership in methodically building EMC's Six Sigma program and driving it into the company's culture by extending its reach to more than 26,000 employees.

Best Achievement of Six Sigma in Manufacturing:

Lonmin of South Africa, the world's third largest producer of platinum, received the achievement for its strong focus in using Six Sigma to reduce costs, improve revenue and maintain its competitive position.

Best Achievement in Integrating Lean and Six Sigma Methodologies:

Paccar Inc. (Bellevue, WA), producer of light- to heavy-duty trucks, received the achievement for developing a fact-based decision-making process called High Impact Kaizen Event that combines the use of both disciplines with emphasis on speed and impact.

Best Achievement of Design for Six Sigma:

Cooper Standard Automotive (Novi, MI) received the award for using the methodology to design, develop and produce a new water valve for Nissan's new Pathfinder automobile instead of using a purchased component to meet exacting standards and to support production of the car in the United States.

Established to identify outstanding organizational success through the application of Six Sigma methodologies, the Global Six Sigma Awards program received 65 entries for the 2006 competition.