Posts Tagged Hansei

Gemba Tales’ 90 Day Reflection

thinkerGemba Tales is now three months old (my first “real” post was made on December 28, 2009). So, I thought it appropriate to engage in a little reflection or hansei. But not too much, mind you. I don’t want to over-analyze anything when my blog is still so young and immature. I know that it takes much more than 90 days to build content and community. Slow and steady, as they say.

Lessons Learned

Here are some of my lessons learned, in no particular order:

  • Blogging ain’t easy. Sure anyone can develop a site (I opted for some professional help), but you still have to come up with posts that matter, that bring value…on a routine basis. Sometimes I think I add value and sometimes, not so much. And sometimes there are technical glitches, like when a broadcasting “plugin” generated multiple (like 9) emails to subscribers for the same post. That seems to be under control now. I am thankful that the Gemba Tales email subscribers are such an understanding bunch.
  • I actually LIKE blogging. My twice weekly posting frequency almost pushes me over the edge (like everyone else I burn the candle at both ends way too much), but I actually like blogging. Frankly, I wish I could do more.  I enjoy the interaction (there could be more – hint, hint!) and I enjoy the intellectual challenge to come up with some fairly cogent posts that add value for the members of the community. It makes me think and it makes me consider what others might benefit from as they progress in their lean implementation journey and as they seek to develop their own personal lean competency.
  • Spammers are a pox on humanity. I am constantly bombarded with comments that are at best stupid and at worst unprintable from folks who want to advertise their products or “services.” I guess spam is one of the hazards of blogging…
  • The lean community is awesome. Lean folks, by and large, live the principles of humility and respect for the individual…and then they go beyond. They share, they mentor and they encourage. I have benefited from the help of a number of first class people within the blogosphere. At the risk of omitting someone, here’s a list of some very cool folks:
    • Jamie Flinchbaugh – Jamie shared some advice on how to get started, made some comments on my early posts and included Gemba Tales in his excellent Lean Blog Aggregator.
    • Larry Loucka – Larry provided needed encouragement, advice and comments.
    • Ron Pereira – Ron was absolutely gracious. He profiled Gemba Tales on his LSS Academy blog and then invited me to guest post. Thanks, Ron.
    • John Hunter – John writes some real profound stuff on his Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog. It was an honor when he included me in several of  his “Management Improvement Carnivals.”
    • Brian Buck – Comments, link and inclusion in his “Roundup.”
    • Evan Durant – Comments, link and some advice to a total Twitter novice.
    • Tim McMahon – Comments and inclusion in his monthly “Roundup.”
Popular Posts

Some of my posts seemed to generate a fair amount of interest and others, well…I tried. Here’s a short list of some of the most popular posts among the 28 thus far.

Looking Forward – An Invitation

I definitely want this blog to add value, so I invite you to either comment on this particular post or email me directly (see the green question mark on the sidebar) and let me know what lean subjects are most meaningful for you. I promise that I will try to cover those areas in future posts or, if you desire, via email.

Thanks for the past 90 days!

Best regards,

Mark R. Hamel

Tags: ,

How’s Your Lean Conscience?

Cricket picI’m guessing very few have asked that question before. Conscience is a judgment of reason by which we recognize the quality of an act before, during or after we do it. It’s really not Jiminy Cricket, although his quote, “A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to,” isn’t too far off the mark.

So, what’s a lean conscience and who should have one? Well, a lean conscience is a judgment of reason by which we can tell whether we’re living lean principles (respect for the individual, humility, flow, pull, scientific thinking, integration of improvement with work, etc.). Lean leaders and practitioners should have a lean conscience.

Of course, with “ownership” (of a conscience) comes responsibility. Traditionally, there are three obligations people have when it comes to their conscience.

1. Act on it. If our conscience is well formed (see #2, below), we should act on our lean conscience. How many times do lean leaders walk by a process in which people are not working in accordance with standard work or there are defects and it’s business as usual (jidoka?…later, man) or perhaps there’s a situation where we could have coached someone so that they could have solved the problem, instead we “gave” them the answer because we didn’t have the patience, or…you get the point.

2. Form it. It’s possible to have an improperly formed lean conscience. Maybe there are some significant holes in the understanding of lean principles, systems or tools. Big gaps can cause big problems. Who hasn’t encountered issues when people who are supposed to know better are “serial batchers?” We are obligated to keep on studying and learning by doing so that we can continue to form and inform our lean conscience.

3. Don’t act if there is uncertainty. Well, maybe we should disregard this one. This does not mean that we should throw caution to the wind, but we need to be experimentalists, not with lean principles themselves, but in the application of the systems and tools within our own particular value streams. Of course, when in doubt, getting started, and/or when there is some real business risk, get a sensei.

So, here’s a call for some hansei (reflection). How’s your lean conscience? Does it bother you? Do you need to form it some more?

Related Post: Everyone Is Special, But Lean Principles Are Universal!

Tags: , , , ,