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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day TWO in the life of a Greenbelt

Greenbelt for Operations Vancouver Winter 2012

Day two of the program we start off with some more ice breakers and team building exercises. The purpose of these exercises is not just to let them have fun- it's also a great way to get their problem-solving juices flowing and learn how to work with eachother.

You have to consider that most of these people were complete strangers just yesterday. Today, Bob mixes the teams up again to allow them to step out of their comfort zones once again and learn how to work with different types of personalities from different industries. All of this is preparing them for their first Kaizen over the rest of the week.

Motorcycle Diaries:

As well as team-building and learning from doing- this exercise demonstrates the art of Yokotan- sharing knowledge sideways. The first team to complete the task proudly demonstrates their accomplishment- only to be asked why they haven't proceeded to immediately help the other teams? How often, do we as individuals or departments within an organization see others as competitors instead of teammates?

Discussion topics:

Bob asks the group if they've had any burning questions keeping them up all night?
They may have been to0 drained to think about lean last night- but once they've had a chance to chat amongst themselves- they come up with some tough questions.

How do we get people to buy in?

Bob flips the question on its head, " why don't people want to buy in?"

  • They don't like change: People become entrenched in their way of doing things- and are reluctant to change. Perhaps, they fear what they don't understand.
    • One way we recommend addressing this is by spreading the word quickly throughout the organization. This can be done through lean 101 sessions (whether it's a half-day or full-day)- information pamphlets. You can get creative- like one of our clients- who created a personalized professional video on how to be lean in their organization and sent it out to all of its employees! The more misconceptions about lean you dispel- the greater your chance of buy-in. Involve them.
  • Corporate Culture: Has the organization involved its employees before. Is that individual concerned about being made irrelevant- if they improve on a process. Is there a culture of communication- where people feel comfortable bringing problems to the surface?
    • Provide a listening ear- allow the process owners to voice their fears and vent out.
    • Get them involved in a kaizen- seeing is believing.
    • Walk the talk.
"When the momentum from up top meets the energy from the shopfloor- that's when magic happens!"

Bridge the gap between managers vs. employees and you'll build a culture of problem-solvers!

Create a TV Commercial:

The groups were given black bags with objects in them and were asked to determine what was in the bag. The catch- no peeking- just feeling.

Lessons Leant:

Gemba: You can guess but you're not really going to know until you actually see it.

Once the teams have identified the items they're next task is to create a company and their new launch commercial!

Lessons Learnt:

Free thinking: With the right attitude- a small group with a few inconsequent items can create anything!

Now- Let's get to the nitty gritty.

One-piece flow
Takt Time
Value Stream Mapping

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