Don’t you hate it when you attempt to get a fork from a condiment stand, but end up picking up a spoon? Has that ever happened to you? I hope I’m not alone in this one. Well, at a recent hotel stay, I experienced simple and powerful visual management that completely prevented me from making this common error.
I’ve been staying at many hotels recently. At one recent stay at a Hilton Hotel (The Hampton Brand), I noticed something refreshing, instructive, and actually helpful: simple visual management in the breakfast lobby.
The Hampton is nice because they provide a good breakfast, so I can quickly go in there, grab something, then head to work. During one of those hectic mornings, I quickly went in, looked for the oatmeal, grabbed my bowl, grabbed a spoon, then began eating.
Then, it dawned on me: I knew exactly where to go for my bowl and spoon, even though this was the first time I had stayed at this hotel. And, instead of picking up a fork or a knife, I actually picked the utensil I meant to get – a spoon!
That’s the power of visual management.
So, what’s the beauty of this?
Principles of Visual Management
The benefits of visual management are the following:
- Visual Management allows us to self-order and self-organize
- Visual Management is self-explanatory – that is, a human doesn’t need to be present in the workplace to explain what’s going on.
- Visual Management allows for obvious and self-improvement.
The example from the Hilton satisfies all 3 criteria above. So simple and so effective.