Schedule meetings in the Gemba – in their natural environment is where the opportunities are.
I scheduled a meeting this week and a room for our meeting. During the course of our conversation, we began to discuss process and other items related to the their work. Gratefully, I had enough awareness to stop the conversation and we, as a team, walked out to the Gemba and continued our discussion there.
Where we ended-up was not comfortable or warm, but we were in their natural environment – where they do work everyday. In this environment, they were able to show and share, not just talk about it. Then, something really magical happened.
What proceeded was a very productive and energetic discussion that turned into a mini Kaizen. I guarantee that it would not have turned out so well if we had continued our discussion in the meeting room.
Go to the Gemba. In the Gemba, we begin to empathize with people – we not only see their pain, but we feel it – and that has tremendous power to change hearts and minds.
A spreadsheet or report doesn’t invoke emotion, but experiencing the facts can. That is the power of being in the Gemba.