Gemba, Leadership, Lean and Continuous Improvement

Gemba Walks – Tip #1

Take a pen and note pad!

Sounds simple, but do you?  When you do a leadership gemba, be sure to take a pen and a note pad to write down your questions or clarifications you have so that you do not interrupt the person briefing you.  Remember that they are probably a little bit nervous and most likely have a predetermined set of points or explanation they want to make.  By interrupting them to ask a question you can easily throw them off and interrupt their flow of information.  Not to mention, more often than not they will answer your question anyway within their explanation.  Jotting down your questions not only shows respect, but also demonstrates your interest in their work.  Try it!

Oh and if you’re a techie and prefer to enter your questions on an app on your phone, it would be really helpful to explain that this is what you are doing at the start of the gemba.  Otherwise, your team may think you’re texting or responding to emails!

Related article:  10 Important Steps of Effective Gemba Walks or “Go See”