Royce Willard said something via Twitter (@Rwilliard) a while ago that really stuck with me when I asked about executives at gemba. He said “The truth is not in their office.”
I created this drawing to show places people try to find the treasure of truth instead of seeing where “X” marks the spot in gemba.
- Afar Land: This is the office or conference room where people decide what the solution is without ever seeing the problem. An Ivory Tower is too far removed from the reality. Think of Hall ‘N Oats “You’re Out Of Touch”.
- Report Mountains: Taiichi Ohno states “Data is of course important in manufacturing, but I place the greatest emphasis on facts.” Many people associate using the scientific method because they are driven by reports and graphs but miss out on the empirical aspect. Reports only suggest facts/truths but they still need to be validated.
- Ear-ie Canal: When someone tells you about a problem, it is usually from a subjective perspective based on their interpretation of facts. This method becomes increasingly unreliable the more it is passed around before it reaches you.
- Past-Ville: Using “how it it used to be” as your basis for truth is dangerous because things may have changed since you last visited.
- Gemba Jungles: The truth is only found when you go and see the actual work being done. Like a criminal investigator, gathering real-time evidence in the space of the crime will paint a more accurate picture of the situation. The wild gemba jungles do not have the limitations of the other locations on the map. The next time you need truth, take the direct route to the gemba jungles.
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My 2009 Hansei: Scarcity inspires creativity and innovation. How can I help harness that inspiration?
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