BTOES Insights Official
May 25, 2019

BTOES - SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT: Life After Six Sigma, Lean, and Agile: Announcing Master's in Business Transformation (MBT)

Courtesy of IBM, Kristof Kovacs and Caroline Whalen wrote a synopsis of their speaking session discussing 'Life After Six Sigma, Lean, and Agile: Announcing Master's in Business Transformation (MBT)'.   Click here to download the full presentation.






Over the last three decades the business world has become increasingly more “VUCA” (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous). Digital Darwinism is now used to describe the current environment of societal and technological change that is testing the fitness of many organizations.

To continue evolving our businesses, we will take a closer look at how business transformation and operational excellence professionals of the future will be selected and developed. Our belief is that early career top talent can be trained for these roles through a highly immersive concurrent track of education, experience, and exposure. These three elements play a critical role in IBM’s first of a kind in-house master’s degree in business transformation, which we coined Transformational Leadership Development Program – or TLDP for short.


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Early career top talent not only have the latest technologies committed to muscle memory but also tend to take more calculated personal and professional risks than their highly experienced Lean Master, MBB, and Scrum Master counter-parts. Furthermore, there is now an overwhelming evidence that the brain keeps evolving and maturing well into the late 20s. We are very much counting on that high level of neuroplasticity as we guide our talent through the program.

TLDP delivers more than business transformation and operational excellence initiatives:

  • Master level education avoiding the need to invest in expensive MBA type programs
  • Multi-faceted, market-valued portfolio of badges and certifications
  • Pool of proven, high-impact change agents for the rest of the organization to recruit from
  • High-octane environment running on intrinsic motivators of mastery, autonomy, purpose
  • Surrounded by support structures of mentors, coaches, buddies and psychological safety
  • Six months “sprints” that stretch participants in multiple directions and dimensions
  • Increased ROI from improved business outcome co-ownership and lower talent costs
  • Moving corpus of knowledge from the shelf to the fingertips of talent, supported by AI

If you would like to hear more about our vision for an in-house business transformation engine, please join us at BTOES19 on March 20th at our session titled “Life After Six Sigma, Lean, and Agile”. We are also expected to make an exciting announcement around the external recognition of the program content, so stay tuned!



About the Authors

Kristof Kovacs

Kristof Kovacs,
Program Director, Transformational Leadership Development Program,


Caroline Whalen new imageCaroline Whalen,
Senior Business Transformation consultant, 

Caroline Whalen is a Senior Business Transformation consultant at IBM in their Global Business Services. Ms. Whalen is the North America Program Lead for IBM's Transformational Leadership Development Program. Her accomplishments in this role include doubling the number of NA TLDP clients over the past year as well as redefining program opportunity management and recruitment processes. Ms. Whalen has professional experience and formal training in SAP, Microsoft Project, Advanced Excel, Lean, Agile, and more. Caroline started her career with IBM in their Enterprise Applications division working on SAP implementations. Within EA, she was responsible for Customer Master configuration and data testing. Caroline also held the role of Test Lead on the largest IBM SAP project in North America. Since transferring out of SAP, she has been working on management consulting engagements, specifically related to Lean and process improvement. Most recently, Caroline served as the site lead for a Lean implementation project at a headquarter location of a Fortune 500 insurance company. 



The issues in this article are just one of topic areas that are going to be discussed at the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit & Industry (BTOES19). March 18-22, 2019, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort®

BTOES is the industry’s biggest and best, senior-level, cross-industry gathering of Business Transformation & Operational Excellence industry leaders and senior executives.

It also hosts the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Awardswhich showcase globally the most outstanding organizational achievements through the application of Operational Excellence programs.

The summits hosts a number of private forums for C-Level & Global corporate-level leaders as well as business unit heads.

With over 150 speakers, over 100 sessions, 12 Keynotes, 9 Track Themes, 5 parallel tracks, 60+ track sessions, 50 roundtable discussions, 20 Interactive Workshops, 6 Thought Leader Panels, 5 Leaders Boardrooms, 5 co-located events, the Industry Awards Program, Site Visits, 20+ hours of social networking including 2 gala cocktail parties, dinners, numerous group activities, this is the ultimate event to benchmark, network and drive Operational Excellence to the next level.


Quick Links



BTOES19 Awards


There is a strong focus on Cultural Transformation, Customer Delight, Sustaining an Operational Excellence program, Need for end-to-end Business Transformation, Keeping up with new technologies/impact of digitalization and Leadership Buy-in & Understanding. We dedicated two tracks to advanced technologies, such as AI, Machine Learning, RPA, Predictive Analytics, Blockchain, Cloud infrastructure etc.

The agenda is designed to encourage active meaningful conversations though all day enhanced networking and interaction opportunities, including

  • All-day Refreshment & Themed Breaks

  • 1¼ Hour Hot Breakfast Networking Sessions

  • 1½ Hour Hot Plated Networking Lunches with Topic & Industry Sector focussed tables

  • 1½ Hour Roundtable Sessions by Topic & Industry Sector.

  • Keynote & Themes Panel Sessions

  • Hosted Welcome Receptions from 5.30pm

  • Expanded more lavish Awards Program

  • Newly launched Night Summit for attendees to meet after dinner

For more information or to discuss the summit in more detail please schedule a call below,

Click here to schedule a call. 

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