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Learning to See

Its easy to say "I'm too busy to walk the floor" Time spent on the floor without purpose is indeed a waste of time and at best, it shows your staff that you are present, but it does not connect you to the true purpose of gemba walks. Taking time out to walk with purpose usually with a key leader by your side exposes many previously unseen opportunities to make the workplace a better environment as well as engage your staff to want to make their life easier. A simple checklist focuses the mind on what needs to be checked and can elicit many facts previously unknown about what the real standards are and not jsut what you imagine them to be. From there its easy to task people to address the issues and hold them accountable. A vital ingredient to all of this however is knowing "what good looks like" If you have no prior reference of what a productive and well managed floor looks like then you simply will only judge what you see by what you have always accepted. This is where leaders need to invest time in developing a clear picture in their minds of the most productive workplaces. Only then will there be sufficient tension, between what they see and what they expect, to motivate them to want better. More on this topic to come!

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