Gemba Walk

Most leadership teams’ assumptions about what is happening in the workplace on a day-to-day basis do not align with the reality of what is actually taking place. Does that sound surprising to you? One very good solution to this problem is a Gemba Walk. A Gemba Walk is an alternative expression for the Japanese term ‘Genchi Genbutsu’ which is defined as, ‘Going to the source to find the facts to make correct decisions, build consensus, and achieve goals.’ A common slang expression for this is ‘Get your boots on and go see the reality.’ Don’t make dangerous assumptions about things you only know from a distance.

When leaders leave their everyday tasks and walk the Gemba, they have an opportunity to ‘See or to Study’ with their own eyes and more deeply understand what is really happening inside the organization. This practice allows them to observe machinery conditions, ask about the practiced standards, and have a better understanding of the functions and processes around. This affords management a reliable, simple, and easy means of supporting the organization and encourages workplace standardization.

The Gemba Walk is an excellent method of ensuring potential problems are addressed in the quickest possible time and at the lowest possible level. Its implementation begins with good planning and requires support from leadership and employees. In order to do this, here are some helpful hints:

  • Be candid in your approach while talking to your colleagues. Avoid formal ways of conversation as it results in rigid responses most of the time.
  • Listen passionately. People tend to be more interested in talking and sharing when they see leaders are paying due attention.
  • Instead of sharing your ideas, ask people to come up with their views and thoughts. People need to realize — ideas are sought in order to make things better for them.
  • An equal amount of time and focus need to be invested in every function. Biasness towards a section of people or function might ruin the whole purpose. A leader must be approachable by everyone in the organization.
  • Recognize people’s success immediately. When things are not going right, avoid giving immediate feedback in public. This should be done later on in private.
  • Be absolutely open and honest while answering any query or question. In case you do not have the right answer, please admit that, follow up and get back. If you are not in a position to share something, please say it upfront. Hiding facts or saying half-truths could completely destroy the trust.

Asprova provide user’s the opportunity to discover which processes inside their business need adjustment, as they inhibit people’s ability to do the right thing. Valuable information gathered from our advanced planning and scheduling functions support leaders when they walk the Gemba to effectively engage with the workforce to solve problems, review ideas, pilot changes and tweak implementation issues.


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