Gemba – the real place in Japanese

Leadership in the 21st century is challenged. Have you ever had the experience of having to navigate the rapids of a complex project or initiative? How do you make sense of all the data thrown at you? How do you decide, what the most important thing to do now, is? How do you keep an eye on the results, you get? Do they match what you set out to accomplish? Is there a need to pivot and change direction quickly?

In today’s fast paced and complex world, decisions are often made on skimpy factual foundation. Often managers have to rely on hear-say, largely outdated financial numbers or information traveling through long distorting chains of reporting. Often the traditional reporting structure in an organization is too slow and will tweak information in the process. Total transparency is needed in order to react appropriately and quickly.

Navigating the rapids

To stay relevant to stakeholders and customers, organizations have to be able to navigate the complex currents of the world today. This calls for something else than the classic plan-driven approach with its excessive focus on numbers. The Agile and Lean approach, that we promote focus on:

  • The Value Chain – Always focus on creating customer value in all you do.
  • Removing Waste – Always focus on removing waste in production and service.
  • Respect for humanity – Always respect people, they are the greatest assets of an organization. Allow them pride of workmanship.

Because of the uncertainties and rapid changes the so-called scientific model of management with its huge up-front planning is not applicable anymore, Agile and Lean are the new patterns that work in the complex domain.

Managers need to be leaders and they need to see “the real thing” – gemba in Japanese – and they need to choose the right things to do. Everybody in an organization needs to know what is expected of them and to be allowed pride of workmanship. It is about focusing on value – not just effort and efficiency.

The Background

After working with Scrum, Agile and other Lean principles for years, we were convinced that organizations do not reap their full potential of benefits in this area – because it is too hard with traditional tools and methods. We decided to help organizations through education, coaching and supply of good tools. Sometimes, to help people change, you have to give them a tool that allows them do so.

There were no good tools for the strategic part of the work in projects and initiatives – so we set out to create an online tool: 現agemba, read more here…

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