Principle 12 in Lean Management : Genchi Genbutsu

Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation.

Observe first and ask yourself :

    • Are they following the standard work procedures?
    • Is it a level flow and just in time?
    • Are parts being delivery before they are needed?
  • Do you really understand what the issues are?

Go and confirm the facts for yourself. You are responsible for the information you’re reporting to others. Take full advantage of the wisdom and experience of others to send, gather or discuss information. When you are new, have a personal meeting with every people, colleague, client or partner.

The Ohno Circle
Draw a circle on the floor of a plant. Stand in and watch the process and think for yourself during eight hours. That’s the power of deep observation.

Get your hands dirty !
Learn by doing. The President’s office must be as close as possible to the shop floor. 95% of the time must be on the field. Have a philosophy of “Management on the floor”

Rapid Genchi Genbutsu for executives. If you cannot go and see for yourself, be surrounded by people you trust, communicate and have reports daily. For emails : have bullet points, be short and clear. Use Genchi Genbutsu outside the company. If you organise a meeting in a hotel, go in advance and look the space, the restaurant.

Note : Westerners prefer abstract universal principles, the Big Picture. Asians see objects and relationships between objects at a more detailed level. They are more focused.

“Observe without preconceptions and with a blank mind. Repeat “why” five times, to every matter” – Taiichi Ohno

The content of this post is inspired by the book “The Toyota Way” – Jeffrey K. Liker

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