Two years ago my colleague, Al Norval, and I were wresting with a tough question.
How do you make Lean principles visible?
Lean thinking, tools & leadership are often paradoxical & counter-intuitive.
Moreover, often they contravene accepted 'wisdom', at least as defined in our business & professional schools.
I've always loved doodling and my recently-published book The Remedy -- Bringing Lean Out of the Factory, which was full of them.
We had a brainwave.
Why not create doodles that expressed Lean fundamentals in a light-hearted, engaging way?
We started with a suite of 12 entitled Brain Boosters - Lean Thinking.
Ya'll seemed to like them, so we followed up with two more suites: Lean Tools and Lean Leadership.
We've been gratified by the response & believe Brain Boosters are a fine addition to the Kaizen toolkit.
Here's how people have been using them:
- Mental Models Self-Assessment
- For each card, have team members individually score the organization
- 10 = Lean Thinking; 0 = Conventional Thinking
- Plot the results. What do they tell you?
- Pick a few “hot spots” & make an improvement plan
- Reassess again at year-end
- Theme of the Day
- At team huddles, give a card to a team member.
- Ask her to find examples of both Lean & Conventional Thinking & report back at shift-end. Any learning points?
- Rotate on a set cadence so everybody gets a chance
- Lean Training, Kaizen Workshops, Gemba Walks
- Pass out Brain Boosters at training & kaizen sessions.
- Carry them during gemba walks & use to reinforce the basics
From time to time people email us with other innovative uses.
(One company obtained the rights to the images & has turned them into posters, T-shirts, mouse pads and other training aids!)
We'd love to hear more of your stories.
Thanks, as always,