Volume 1 / Issue 2 / April 11, 2016
“Culture change is what you get when you put new processes or structures in place. The culture evolves as you do that important work.” Lorsch & McTague - HBR, April 2016
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up. Chinese proverb
ATJ readers may recall Tracy Defoe’s story about the value contributed to SeaStar Solutions (formerly Teleflex) in BC through the innovative Kaizen Club. She has just returned from the Lean Frontiers KATA Summit with Mike Rother in Hollywood FL with 200 KATA practitioners from around the world. She will share some disturbing observations in this issue which we will discuss further.
It is puzzling trying to understand why Toyota KATA(TK) appears to be accelerating rapidly in other nations, but slowly in Canada. It seems like our companies are sitting firmly on the sidelines with a very definite wait-and-see mindset about TK. This delay in exploiting this kind of competitive weapon does not bode well for companies needing to compete and win in the global marketplace. Yes, TK does require work because of it’s methodical, deliberate, and precise execution. Perhaps this reality is causing folks to look for sexier action with less effort. But if you are serious – this tool is one powerful tool.
SigmaPoint is a 300-person global Electronic Mfg. Services provider of end-to-end services for complex electronic assemblies in Telecom, Medical, Industrial and Alternative Energy. They too just returned from the KATA Summit in Florida where they showed their application of TK which earned high praise such as ‘The best deployment we have ever seen’, from the 200 international TK practitioners. From their Cornwall facility in Canada, they now travel abroad to inspire learners in workshops and international conferences. ATJ will be sharing more examples to bring more awareness of TK applications in coming issues.
Jim Womack returns in this issue, with insight about another competitiveness inhibitor – which is the risk of trying something new. This one is very much linked to competitiveness and productivity. It is a leadership/management struggle to decide whether to commit to ‘Revolution’ or ‘Evolution’ (or a competitively viable in-between choice) and the determination of which is best for their companies. Is it best to go fast and incorporate changes akin to revolutionizing what you do? Or, to go slow and sure as you worry about the vision of competitors passing you?
No easy choice by any means. However, since every company has its limitations, each has its ‘current state takt time’- and its ‘future state takt time’ which is limited by their people, their skills, their talent, and the leadership.
To help answer the question of which approach to adopt, we turn to one of the world’s leading resources Planet Lean at www.planet-lean.com to share with you the March 29th monthly Issue of Womack’s YOKOTEN which discusses the right pace of change: Is it Evolution (Kaizen) – or Revolution (Kaikaku)? His feature is published on the first Tuesday of each month on Planet Lean.
ATJ’s last word in this issue for practitioners comes from a long-standing question still alive in 2016 – and that’s about how to attain that elusive One-Piece-Flow. So, check out the last article in this issue “One more time – Getting to One-Piece-Flow”.