Building Relations with Gemba Walks
The ‘Gemba Walk’ did not start out as as an ‘industrial tourism’ event for the leaders to randomly show up at the workplace. As we better understand what was originally observed, we realize that these were ‘learning to see’ exercises for the supervisors to learn the patterns improve the workplace and develop their relations with staff. Later a managers role to coach for skills and lead the supervisors was added, as was a coordinator (2nd coach for kata development) to help define the patterns. Rather than trying to implement abstract ‘motivation’ programs, the leaders build relationships with staff by jointly solving problems they face in the workplace. People join companies, but leave bosses. By structuring the problem solving efforts to include the front-line employees as well as the leaders, relationships are built by focusing on improving communications and resolving problems.
Mark Warren has 30 years of experience working with a broad range of companies to improve their manufacturing productivity and quality.
Establishing an independent consultancy in 2002, he provides advisory services to management in cooperative projects at various client, supplier and customer facilities in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.
As a result of his extensive research of the TWI programs in the National Archives and private collections around the world, he has edited and authored several TWI related books.