Posts Tagged daily kaizen

Balancing Two Types of Knowledge for Lean Transformation

I am halfway through reading, what I consider (thus far), an important lean book. Robinson and Schroeder’s TThe Idea-Drivenhe Idea-Driven Organization: Unlocking the Power in Bottom-up Ideas is a very thoughtful, practical book on the topic of employee engagement and daily kaizen.

Pure and simple, lean is not transformational without pervasive daily kaizen.

So, read this book.

…Anyway, Robinson and Schroeder refer to the work of Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t up on my Hayek. I’m glad that the authors made the introduction.

Hayek identified two types of knowledge:

  1. Aggregate knowledge. This is ostensibly what top leaders possess (hey, stop snickering). It is developed through some level of intimacy with macro-level data and financial and operational performance information and analysis. This makes sense given the need for these folks to be able to absorb the big picture, set direction and formulate strategy. However, aggregate knowledge does have its limitations, especially when it is in the hands of those with a shortage of a key lean ingredient – humility. Even sufficient aggregrate knowledge in the hands (or head) of the un-humble can make top leaders feel that they know best. That means they can have the grand illusion that they know better than the folks who have the second type of knowledge, see below. This is folly, as proven out on a daily basis in so many companies and, I dare say, most every government organ. There’s a really good reason why central planning doesn’t work – the central planners lack the second type of knowledge, among other things (like true “stakeholdership”).
  2. Knowledge of the particular circumstances of time and place. This type of knowledge is derived from real-life, consistent gemba-based immersion. Folks who possess this knowledge, the ones who do the actual work at the actual place, by definition should be grounded in reality. (I say “should,” because not all folks sufficiently grasp the situation – their lean thinking may be immature or perhaps they’re not interested in acknowledging reality. It’s up to the leaders to help this along). In any event, with proper coaching and a good lean management system to facilitate problem identification and the targeting and flow of ideas, the people with this second type of knowledge are THE proper and most effective force to conduct kaizen.

There are at least a couple of things that the “aggregate folks” can do to help themselves gain some particular knowledge. Coincidentally, this will help the organization.

  • As Fujio Cho, now honorary chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation, taught, leaders should religiously go see, ask why, and show respect. Much of this should happen within the context of well-developed leader standardized work.
  • Leaders can periodically participate in kaizen activities firsthand with the stakeholders. This will force leaders to go to the gemba, directly and rigorously observe reality with their teammates, and only then, earn some of the necessary insight to share in local PDCA.

Similarly, the “particular knowledge folks” can obtain a least a modicum of aggregate knowledge, more like expanded line of sight, by the incorporation of frequent regular visual process performance metric (people, quality, delivery, cost, and rate of continuous improvement) reviews as part of their natural work team huddles. Less frequently, they should be apprised of performance at the more aggregated levels of value stream, business unit, etc.

Now, we’re not saying that one type of knowledge is better than the other. Every organization needs both in order to survive and ultimately thrive. However, like most things in life, there needs to be a balance.

But, here’s my humble advice to the aggregate folks – set policy and create alignment, establish the lean ecosystem vis a vis lean management systems, model lean leadership behaviors, challenge, encourage, and coach the “particular guys,” …and in a large measure, get out of their way.

Related posts: Subsidiarity: A (Medieval) Lean Principle, Eight Ways to Avoid the Kaizen Roach MotelWhy Do You Ask?

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Newsflash: Behavioral Benefits of 5S Are Clinically “Proven”

Larry Loucka, a close friend and colleague, recently pointed me to a February 16th Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article.

Now, before you roll your eyes and give me the WSJ-isn’t known-for-getting-the-lean-thing-right look, hear me out. What the Journal published is really, really good stuff…even if lean, and 5S in particular, was the furthest thing from their brilliant mind(s).

The title of the WSJ article is “Messes and Wrong Guesses.” Much of the content is ostensibly gleaned from a work written by Boyoun (Grace) Chae and Rui (Juliet) Zhue, entitled, “Environmental Disorder Leads to Self-Regulatory Failure.” It was published in the December 16, 2013, on-line Journal of Consumer Research.

I’m guessing most Gemba Tales readers aren’t very familiar with that journal.

But, I digress! Here’s the pertinent stuff.

Chae and Zhue conducted several revealing experiments with two different populations of volunteers. One group of participants was placed in a messy and chaotic environment. The other group was placed in a more organized environment.

Both groups were subjected to several tests. The results reflected that the folks in the messy environment, in comparison to those in the more organized environment:

1) were willing to spend more for a variety of products (including a high end TV, vacation package, and pen),

2) took longer to complete a tricky, brain teaser type test

3) demonstrated less stamina when attempting to solve a difficult (actually unsolvable) puzzle.

Now, I don’t know what the sample size was, but the WSJ article stated that, “[i]n each case, volunteers in the organized environment did better…”

The researchers, Chae and Zhue, “say the results show that disorganized surroundings threaten people’s sense of personal control, which in turn taxes their self-regulatory abilities.”

So, next time someone challenges you on why 5S is a good thing, look them in the eye and tell them it’s (sort of) proven that it lowers stress and enhances the self-regulatory abilities of everyone in the workforce. That sounds like respect for the individual AND a greater capacity for execution and daily kaizen.

 

Related posts: What Happened to 5S’ Fourth S? Let’s Standardize! [Guest Post], Ineffective Visual Controls – 9 Root Causes

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Eight Ways to Avoid the Kaizen Roach Motel

I see the same cycle in so many places.

What cycle?

This one, more or less:

Step 1. Altruistic leaders sincerely (?) ask the associates for their improvement ideas (a.k.a. suggestions, kaizens, CI’s, etc.) in an attempt to foment some daily kaizen.

Step 2. Associates (not all of them), somewhat skeptically, call leadership’s bluff and submit their ideas.

Step 3. Leadership is pleased with the response (the number of ideas, that is) and then…panics. They determine that the quality of the ideas is uneven at best and they can’t effectively respond to and implement even a fraction of the ideas that have been submitted.

Step 4. The associates come to the realization that their ideas are on a one-way trip to kaizen’s version of the Roach Motel. You know, the Roach Motel, where ideas (or roaches) check in, but they don’t check out. The most jaded associates chide the ones who were gullible enough to think that their ideas mattered. Improvement ideas slow to a trickle.

Step 5. Leadership organizes a tiger team to make a dent in the huge inventory of ideas.

…and so on.

I don’t need to tell you that it doesn’t always end well.

How can we break this cycle?

Here are eight ways.

  • Build the right ecosystem. Kaizen, especially daily kaizen, doesn’t happen in a vacuum. An effective lean management system helps drive good standardize-do-check-adjust (SDCA) and plan-do-check-adjust (PDCA) thinking. It integrates solid visual controls, andon response, leader standard work, and regular team reflection meetings during which the team engages in, or at least initiates, problem-solving and then follows through. Of course, the ecosystem doesn’t work without solid lean leadership behaviors.
  • Teach and coach basic problem-solving capability. Good problem-solving skills aren’t necessarily innate. One of the most futile things is to launch a quick and easy kaizen system, suggestion system, etc. without any formal training. That’s when you get unintelligible problem statements, countermeasures that are wholly unrelated to the root cause, etc. Folks need practical training, practice, and coaching all the way up and down the organization.
  • Keep the system simple, transparent, quick, and local. Bureaucracy is the enemy of kaizen. People need to understand the system, easily know the status of their ideas, and get nearly immediate feedback when they first submit their idea…like in 24 hours. Think “subsidiarity,” push improvements and decisions around the improvements down to the lowest possible level – usually the natural work team.
  • Prioritize. When kaizen idea systems really kick into gear, expect dozens per person per year. Such a magnitude of ideas can’t be implemented at once. Teams should apply simple ways to prioritize (for example around impact on the team’s tiered performance metrics and the effort required to implement) and work no more than a handful at a time.
  • Don’t separate finding from fixing. Folks are truly engaged when they “own” the improvement, meaning they are invested in finding the problem and then personally fixing, or help fixing, it. Similarly, it is impossible to understand PDCA if one only does “P.”
  • Provide nimble resources for implementation. Effective lean organizations invest in modest, but targeted resources to help facilitate daily kaizen. These resources include the kaizen promotion office and “moonshine” departments.
  • Share and manage the change. Horizontal sharing of improvement ideas (yokoten) is an excellent way to recognize those who did the kaizen, while also inspiring others to “borrow” and further improve on the improvement. At the same time, there needs to be a low bureaucracy way to manage change to ensure that pragmatic standardization is maintained where needed.
  • Dole out the 3C’s. Leaders must constantly challenge folks to improve the process (easier, better, faster, cheaper!), provide them with the courage to try new things (“fail forward”), and to apply their creativity.

Do these eight things and avoid the Kaizen Roach Motel!

Related posts: Want a Kaizen Culture? Take Your Vitamin C!, Bridging to Daily Kaizen – 15 (or so) Questions, Book Review: How to Do Kaizen

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Kaizen: From System to Principle-Driven [Lean Thinker Webinar Series]

Last month, I teamed up with Gemba Academy’s Ron Pereira and presented a two-part webinar on the subject of kaizen. Both sessions were recorded and are right here for your viewing.

The description of the webinar went something like this:

Many folks share an anti-kaizen event sentiment. Daily kaizen is the only way to go, right?

The truth is most successful lean organizations jump-started their transformation through the effective application of kaizen events…and then they transitioned to a sustainable kaizen culture by balancing daily kaizen and events.

Join Mark Hamel, author of the Shingo Award-winning book, Kaizen Event Fieldbook, and Gemba Tales blogger, for some insight on how to do both well.

While I have a face for radio and a voice for silent movies, I think there’s some value-added stuff in these webinars. Of course, the fact that the recordings, accessible now only to Gemba Academy subscribers of their Complete Lean Package, are free to you should lessen the pain.

Speaking of Gemba Academy, I cannot say enough about their lean training offerings – including the scope, content, value, and state of the art HD video delivery method! Please check them out.

I hope you enjoy the webinars.

Related post: How to Avoid Kaizen Event Malpractice [Webinar]

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The Best or Nothing

I just contributed a guest post of the same title to Christian Paulsen’s Lean Leadership blog. Please visit his site to read my full post and to take in some of Chris’ excellent lean content. Chris shared some of his insight with us a while back in his Gemba Tales guest post, 5 Reasons You Need to Do a DMAIC.

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Recently, Mercedes Benz introduced a new brand claim. You may have seen it on TV or in print. It uses a direct quote from founding father Gottlieb Daimler, “The best or nothing.”

It sounds cool. Not that I’m ready to shell out a boat-load of money for a sexy new car. But, it clearly gets across that the Mercedes guys are uncompromising.

As a top executive from Mercedes Benz put it, “For us, [it] means we want to deliver the very best in all areas – be that in research and development, production, sales, service and aftermarket business or in purchasing.”

I have a hard time arguing with that. I know what they mean. It’s a powerful and noble principle.

And yet, the words grate on my (hopefully) lean thinking mind.

 

…The figure below summarizes much of my thinking on this subject, while my full post can be found here.

 

click to enlarge

 

Other Hamel guest posts: “Do” Only Gets You Half the Way There, or…“No Pie for You!” (on Mark Graban’s Lean Blog), Subsidiarity: A (Medieval) Lean Principle (on Ron Pereira’s LSS Academy Blog)

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Line of Sight, Employee Engagement, and Daily Kaizen

Lean culture is largely defined by, or at least manifested in, engaged and empowered employees practicing voluntary kaizen. Engagement can be measured in a number of ways, but perhaps one of the most telling is the number of implemented suggestions per employee per year.

A while back, I developed an outline of Autoliv Brigham’s daily kaizen journey (see figure below) based upon information within the book, How to Do Kaizen. Autoliv’s story is extremely compelling.

Often engagement evolves as employee line of sight evolves. Line of sight is my euphemism for the scope of the employee’s ability AND desire to see, to understand, and to care beyond the self. Successful organizations are clearly much more than a loose confederation of individuals.

Start Somewhere

Lean transformations have to start somewhere. Many times it starts with an average employee line of sight that extends about as far as “self.” If that’s the case, then the lean leaders need to engage right there.

What does that mean?

Well, if the employee cares little beyond the self, then train and involve them in creature comfort kaizen for themselves (as finder and fixers of the problems). Recognize their improvements and their creativity and share it with others. The four-fold goal of kaizen is easier, better, faster, and cheaper…in that order. Start with easier and build from there.

This develops the employee’s kaizen capability and, if done effectively, their appetite and eyes for kaizen. But don’t stop there. Expand the context for kaizen. Extend the line of sight beyond just the self.

Expand the Line of Sight

Most employees work within some sort of natural work team – folks who typically work together on a daily basis towards some common purpose. (Admittedly, sometimes the team in which they are a member is less than “natural” and formed for management convenience and economics, not the flow of value. Not optimal, but often it’s still manageable.) There are a number of things that the lean leader can do to facilitate greater engagement, including:

  1. Deploy a daily accountability process. Effective lean management systems include the use of tiered meetings to review team performance versus targets, plan for the next 24 hours, and identify issues, barriers and countermeasures. It drives shared understanding of process performance, foments dialogue, and “pulls” suggestions.
  2. Provide more lean and team effectiveness training and time to use it. The more actionable knowledge about lean and how to better perform as a team, the better. While a lot of daily kaizen can happen in the margins (breaks, before shift and after shift), collaborative efforts are most likely to happen if some time is provided on a periodic basis during working hours.
  3. Leverage performance management. It’s a game-changer when the criteria on how people are evaluated and compensated includes team and company outputs as well as desired lean behaviors.
  4. Involve employees in organized kaizen. Kaizen events and facilitated kaizen circle activities will further develop the organization’s problem-solving muscle and expand awareness and ownership.
  5. Leaders transition to teachers and facilitators. Perhaps the toughest transformational challenge is flipping the organizational pyramid “upside down” so that the leaders become enablers, not bottlenecks.
  6. Apply lean tools and systems that drive employee involvement. For example: 5S is an supremely intuitive and engaging tool…and it can provide near instant gratification. Visual controls, among other things, share information with virtually every stakeholder. Talk about line of sight! TPM, specifically autonomous maintenance, by its very nature requires direct involvement and ownership.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

What do you do to expand the line of sight and engagement within your organization? How does that drive daily kaizen?

Related posts: Book Review: How to Do Kaizen, Lean Management Systems and Mysterious Performance Metrics, Easier, Better, Faster, Cheaper…in that Order

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Bridging to Daily Kaizen – 15 (or so) Questions

My teenage education was (maybe) enhanced by substantial doses of Monty Python. Occasionally, I discover a lean metaphor somewhere within their body of work. One of my absolute favorite scenes is from the  movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The three minute scene goes by two names: 1) the Bridge of Death, or 2) the Three Questions.

Now would be a good time to watch the scene if you’re not familiar with it. Of course, if you’re like me, even though you’ve seen it before, you’ll watch it again…and laugh.

So, back the lean metaphor. Most folks are stuck on one side of the gorge (that would be the “Gorge of Eternal Peril”) practicing system-driven kaizen – organized kaizen, mostly directed by value stream improvement plans. While this particular side isn’t terrible, it’s only a stepping stone to real lean. You should be crossing the bridge to the other side, the side of principal driven kaizen – system-driven kaizen, plus daily (mostly voluntary) kaizen. Only then will the enterprise and the culture be truly transformed!

Stop! Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.

In the Holy Grail movie, the only way to cross the Bridge of Death is to successfully answer the three questions. For this kaizen bridge, you’ve got to answer at least 15 questions. Don’t worry, unlike the Monty Python version, if you don’t answer any of the questions incorrectly (or at least not affirmatively), you will not be, “…cast in the Gorge of Eternal Peril.”

In no particular order:

  1. Have all of your employees been trained in basic problem-solving methods and are they coached how and encouraged to use them?
  2. Is the environment one of problem-solving or problem-hiding?
  3. Has the organization developed good PDCA rigor through the proper application of kaizen events and has virtually everyone participated in multiple events?
  4. Do you have an effective lean management system that employs: a) leader standard work, b) visual controls, and c) cascading tiered performance metrics?
  5. Have you implemented a pragmatic suggestion system that emphasizes quick implementation of true incremental improvement (kaizen teian), typically by the person who suggests the improvement?
  6. Do you broadly and virally share improvement ideas?
  7. Do you apply the 5 why’s or the 5 who’s?
  8. Do the lean leaders promote A3 thinking?
  9. Has the organization sufficiently resourced the kaizen promotion office (a.k.a. lean function) to help teach, coach and facilitate improvement activities?
  10. Is the focus of improvement such that the order of importance is a) easier, b) better, c) faster, and d) cheaper?
  11. Are folks fearful of failure or do they, and leadership, see it as a necessary means of learning and improving?
  12. Are you internally capable (or at least getting there) or are you suffering from consultant dependency?
  13. Do folks know what “True North” is and how they can do their part to get there?
  14. Is the culture one of humility and respect for the individual?
  15. Is lean applied within the context of a holistic lean business system?

I know there are a bunch more. What are your additions to the list?

Related posts: Book Review: How to Do Kaizen, Developing Leader Standard Work – Five Important Steps, Want a Kaizen Culture? Take Your Vitamin C!

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Want a Kaizen Culture? Take Your Vitamin C!

Among other things, vitamin C boosts one’s immune system. That’s pretty important, especially around the cold and flu season. But there is another type of vitamin C. One that is critical to the formation of an effective kaizen culture.

The Toyota Way, as defined here by Toyota, is founded upon two main pillars: 1) continuous improvement , and 2) respect for people. The following “three building blocks” shape their “commitment to continuous improvement:

  1. Challenge – we form a long term vision, meeting challenges with courage and creativity to realize our dreams;
  2. Kaizen – we improve our business operations continuously, always driving for innovation and evolution
  3. Genchi Genbutsu – we go to the source to find the facts to make correct decisions, build consensus and achieve goals.”

The first building block contains vitamin C in a threefold dose:

  • Challenge. Constantly be ready and willing to question the status quo and look for better ways. The challenge can be fomented by the envisioned ideal state and/or a specific target condition. It’s about closing the gaps. Challenge should provide the “pull” dynamic for improvements.
  • Courage. Be ever willing to test improvement ideas and learn from trial and error. This is foundational to PDCA (they don’t call it “PDC”).  Lean leaders must actively nurture an environment within which people fearlessly (not recklessly) apply scientific thinking and trystorming.
  • Creativity. Trystorming without creativity is a sterile exercise. We must think and act differently – “Keep on doing what you’re doing, keep on getting what you’re getting.” Unleash the inner MacGyver!

So, take copious amounts of vitamin C and, as an effective leader, ensure that your folks do the same. Boost that organizational immune system and foster a kaizen culture.

Related posts: Telling “How” Removes Responsibility, Kaizen Principle: Be like MacGyver, use creativity before capital!

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Book Review: How to Do Kaizen

Many months ago, Norman Bodek sent  me a copy of the book, How to Do Kaizen: A New Path to Innovation (its sub, sub-title is Empowering Everyone to Be a Problem Solver).  Norman, the indisputable lean literature pioneer from the west,  co-authored the book with Bunji Tozawa, a prolific kaizen author in his own right. Norman is also the editor and publisher (PCS Inc.) of the book. The work was published in January of 2010.

My humble take is that How to Do Kaizen is a very important book about voluntary kaizen!

At 425 pages, the book is long. It’s probably longer than it has to be and sometimes it could be more cogent.  (Of course, I am certainly not the most economical writer!) That said, it is clearly written from the heart from the perspective of the authors’ passion about the subject matter and the undeniable sentiment of respect for the worker. Indeed, much of daily kaizen is about first making work more human/easier.

How to Do Kaizen imparts a tremendous amount of practical know-how and know-why around daily kaizen, within what the authors’ call kaizen systems and the application of quick and easy kaizen. The book contains a ton of real-life examples.

Here are some of the many “nuggets” within the book:

  • The average U.S. worker comes up with one new idea every seven years…and only 32% of  those suggestions are implemented. A pretty pitiful underutilization of human creativity! Autoliv, Brigham City, a two-time Shingo Prize winner, is profiled within the book. In 2009, they had implemented 63 suggestions/person. Autoliv’s 2010 goal is 96. When training companies in quick and easy kaizen, the authors target 2 implemented suggestions/person/month.
  • Daily, voluntary kaizen’s “juice” comes from implemented suggestions, no matter how simple the improvement may be. Doing, followed by documenting and sharing via simple “kaizen memos” help capture the improvements while facilitating recognition and propagating the spirit and content of the kaizen. Several months ago, I wrote a post on Kaizen in the Laundry Room…and My Domestic Shortcomings. See the picture, below for my version of that improvement as documented in a type of simple kaizen memo. Click to enlarge.
  • Norman’s interview with Tom Hartman, Senior Director Lean Consulting, Autoliv Americas provides some outstanding insight into Autoliv’s daily kaizen journey. The Brigham City facility went from less than 0.5 implemented suggestions/employee/year in 1999 to 63 in 2009. Hartman details how the plant ventured from “creature comfort kaizen” to daily kaizen that was also well-aligned with enterprise’s value objectives (quality, productivity, machine reliability, etc.). He further shares how this transformation was facilitated by things like plant-wide TPS training and quality workshops, TPM events, jidoka application, leaders evolving into coaches, transition of the suggestion system from individual focused to team focused, improved visual management, and institution of leader standard work.
  • Good daily kaizen coaches (team leaders, supervisors, managers et al), use the following types of keywords:
    • Observation keywords. Help people notice problems – “duplicated effort,” “complicated,” “tedious,” ” tiring,” etc.
    • Ideation keywords. Help people come up with countermeasures – “eliminate,” ” combine,” rearrange,” “simplify,” etc.
    • Implementation keywords. Encourage implementation ASAP – “for the time being,” “start with part of the problem,” “if it doesn’t work, try something different,” etc.

This book exudes engagement and empowerment and reinforces how simple, fundamental stuff can literally change a culture and leverage the creative talents of each and every person. If you want to transition from system-driven kaizen to principle-driven kaizen, this is an extremely helpful book.

Related posts: Kaizen in the Laundry Room…and My Domestic Shortcomings, Book Review: Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation

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Easier, Better, Faster, Cheaper…in that Order

Lean is deep. It’s multi-faceted. Heck, even the “simple” stuff is profound.

These characteristics, along with (or should I say, in spite of) my own denseness, are why my lean learning never plateaus. Here’s a very recent example of two experiences that refined my kaizen appreciation.

Experience 1. This week I attended and spoke at the Sixth Annual Northeast Shingo Prize conference. It was a wonderful experience. (See below for a picture of the “four bloggers.”) The conference title was, “Easier, Better, Faster, Cheaper.” Great title and great theme right? Like motherhood and apple pie. Who could ever argue with it?

Well, as many of us know, the title was derived from a Shigeo Shingo quote:

There are four purposes of improvement: easier, better, faster and cheaper.

Cool, right? Except, there’s another sentence that immediately follows – a sentence that should alter the mindset of most American allegedly “lean thinkers.”

These four goals appear in the order of priority.

Do you think that most executives would agree with that priority? I sincerely doubt it.

If we surveyed senior leaders, I would be quite confident that the order would be reversed. Unfortunately, such a hierarchy (no pun intended) does little to gain buy-in from the workforce and it is often inconsistent with the notion of respect for people. Which leads to my next recent experience.

Experience 2. (Actually this experience happened BEFORE the conference, but it works better explaining it in this order.) I was reading through the paper, “Transforming Kaizen at Toyota,” written by Koichi Shimizu from Okoyama University. This 29 page paper is undated, but I would guess it’s circa 2000. Shimizu presents a lot of information and analysis around volunteer and organized kaizen activities at Toyota.

Some take-aways:

  • Workers drive about 10% of the realized improvement and team leaders, production supervisors, engineers, etc. drive 90%. Here “realized improvement” is ostensibly around cost reduction through productivity and quality gains.
  • Workers principally engage in “voluntary kaizen” – kaizen circle activities and suggestions.
  • The purpose and effects of the voluntary kaizen, especially within Toyota’s US and European plants, are mainly around:
    • developing the (worker’s) kaizen mind and problem solving ability,
    • paying attention to quality and productivity,
    • perceiving the work-place as one’s own, and
    • developing self for promotion.

Occasionally, the worker generates a great idea around quality or working process improvement. But, the primary focus for the worker is typically around the “humanization of work. In other words, it starts with making the work EASIER. Just like Mr. Shingo said!

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Here’s a picture of the four bloggers at the NE Shingo Prize conference. From left to right, yours truly (the old guy in the group), Tim MacMahon of A Lean Journey, Dave Kasprzak of My Flexible Pencil, and Mike Wroblewski of Got Boondoggle? It was great meeting these very talented folks!

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