Saturday, March 27, 2004

Gemba in cyberspace

Going to Gemba, even in a cyber world

I got an email from consultant of ours, Julie Kowalski of Spizzerinctum Group, last week ( email Julie ) in which she captured something I’ve struggled to say but not as well as she did:
I sometimes feel that we as a business society allow email to do all of our talking for us; sometimes we just need two way dialog. Therefore I do not intend for these documents to be stand alone. I would like to talk through each of the items with you, when you have a chance ---- can we schedule a call for sometime on Tuesday?
Julie captured something very important here; she moved the conversation to the workplace, or as many in the Lean community would say, she went to gemba, the place where value is really added. She proposes, boldly yet clearly, to breakthrough our tendency to avoid direct conversation and immediate feedback.

Do something like this today. Don’t send an email; go find the person and ask. Pick up the phone rather than sending the document. Get to her/his place and ask, directly. Observe what you see and hear. Give that feedback to the person to see if you really understand. Then note what you learn.

Thanks, Julie, for the clarity you bring here.

I hope this is helpful. Feel free to forward to a friend. Email me

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