Saturday, September 27, 2008

Debating Gemba

This is not a post about politics, though it flowed from last night's Presidential Debate.

It struck me that John McCain regularly mentioned how he had been to various trouble spots around the globe. How he had gone directly to opinion makers. How he had been present at the place things were happening.

I don't think Senator McCain knows anything about Lean, nor did he cite Lean as a strategy for competitiveness. Yet he appealed for credibility by stating he had physically been where important issues were taking place. In Lean parlance, this is going to gemba.

Intrinsically, people ascribe credibility to those who are at the point of action. Our modern idiom "been there, done that" illustrates this further.

So, if a politician knows this intrinsically, why is it so hard for many mangers to physically show up at the place value is added?

Perhaps this is a time to learn from, rather than criticize, those running for office.

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