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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Gemba:   The Japanese term for "actual place," often used for the shop floor or any place where value-creating work actually occurs; also spelled genba.  The term often is used to stress that real improvement requires a shop-floor focus based on direct observation of current conditions where work is done. For example, standardized work for a machine operator cannot be written at a desk in the engineering office, but must be defined and revised on the gemba. More »
Gemba Walk:   A management practice for grasping the current situation through direct observation and inquiry before taking action.   Gemba means “actual place” in Japanese. Lean Thinkers use it to mean the place where value is created. Japanese companies often supplement gemba with the related term “genchi gembutsu” -- essentially “go and see” -- to stress the importance of empiricism.   Because value flows horizontally across companies to customers, a productive way to take a gemba walk is to follow a single product family or product design or customer-facing process from start to finish across departments, functions, and organizations, according James Womack, author of More »
Gemba Walking on Mars
By: José R. Ferro | November 5, 2015
Lean is all around us in our daily lives - including at the movies, as Lean Institute Brasil president Jose R. Ferro found out during a recent screening of "The Martian," starring Matt Damon. Find out what he noticed. More »
Gemba Walks: Are You Going To See or To Be Seen?
By: Dave LaHote | August 19, 2014
"Supervisors talked about the significant improvements they were making as a result of kaizen events," writes Dave LaHote, "But all I noticed was workers trying to keep up with a production process that looked out of sync, plagued by problems that got in the way of them being able to perform their jobs well.  " Read more. More »
Gemba Walks, 2nd Edition (eBook)
By: Jim Womack | October 22, 2013
A collection of essays by Jim Womack based on the many gemba walks he has taken around the world. The 2nd edition contains 12 new essays in sectors such as healthcare and government. More »
Gemba Walks, 2nd Edition
By: Jim Womack | October 22, 2013
A collection of engaging, entertaining, and insightful essays by Jim Womack, based on the many gemba walks he has taken around the world. The 2nd edition contains 12 new essays in sectors such as healthcare and government. More »
Gemba Walks, 2nd Edition (audiobook)
By: Jim Womack
Audio; Books
A collection of essays read aloud by author Jim Womack, based on the many gemba walks he has taken around the world. The 2nd edition contains 12 new essays, including thoughts on lean in healthcare and government. More »
Gemba Walks - A Management Process for Leading the Organization
This opening paragraph of the introduction of Jim Womack’s latest book, "Gemba Walks," is the starting point for a gemba-based learning experience designed to help participants better understand their role in creating lean thinking through lean management led by their own behavior in “taking a walk.  ” More »
A Revelation at the Gemba
By: Josh Howell | September 5, 2019
Columns; eLetters
During my travels this summer, both personal and for LEI, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the Institute’s 20+ year history while thinking about my role in shaping its future. I’ve also been talking to many of you, the members of the Lean Community, taking advantage of community gatherings like the annual Designing the Future and Lean Coaching Summits, to better understand your current challenges. I’m also meeting with potential collaborators who can help further LEI’s mission of advancing lean thinking via thought-leading content, experimentation, coaching, and training.    More »
Reflections From Ten Years of Michael Ballé's Gemba Coach
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | August 30, 2019
Since his first Gemba Coach column of ten years ago, Michael Balle has consistently tied his advice to a faithful application of core Toyota Production System (TPS) principles, without demanding a mindless conformity to established practices or to commercialized frameworks, models, or any other packaging of the TPS dynamics as a product. More »
Feeling the Gemba Magic
By: Nicolas Chartier | July 19, 2019
After months of work at the gemba with his factory manager helping line workers grapple with problems, CEO Nicolas Chartier realized the true source of the recurring problems: himself. More »
Cultivating Intuition at the Gemba
By: Ernie Richardson and Tracey Richardson | January 28, 2019
Our trainers conditioned us to water the seed of experience and use it not just to fire-fight but rather be more predictive and value add with our time and how we taught others. We encourage each person to learn to trust their intuition enough to see through the process each day to ensure the purpose and accountability for standards and why we have them is known and bought into, not just a suggestion to do. More »
WLEI: Season 2 Ep. 1 Leadership at the Gemba with Scott Heydon and John Shook
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | November 5, 2018
Former Starbucks Executive and Senior Coach at LEI Scott Heydon, joined author and LEI Chairman John Shook for a last minute learning session at the Lean Coaching Summit. The response was so positive we've adapted it to be a podcast. More »
Sensing the Gemba
By: Mike Orzen and Tracey Richardson | August 10, 2018
The next time you show up at the gemba to do a “go and see,” take a personal assessment of your level of focus, presence and awareness. Choose any one of your senses to focus within first, so you can be 100 percent present to deeply sense what is going on with the people and work processes of the value stream. More »
Becoming My Own Gemba
By: Tracey Richardson | March 23, 2018
Like me, thousands of people suffer from undiagnosed or more complex medical conditions that mimic other conditions. And my TPS training in a way of thinking about making things better helped me approach this condition in a productive manner. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Getting More Suggestions without Incentivizing Employees
By: Gavin Martin and Kelly Moore | November 2, 2017
Improving the work is difficult, if not impossible, without suggestions from those who actually do the work. But in many companies, getting the workers to submit suggestions is a constant struggle. What could be the root cause(s) of this problem? Two lean practitioners weigh in with their thoughts. More »
Advice from the Gemba: The Most Frustrating Types of Waste (and How to Eliminate Them!) II
By: Rick Guba and Peg Pennington | October 17, 2017
If you've ever lost sleep over a particularly frustrating source of waste in your organization, you're not alone. Today we feature two experienced lean educators with the most frustrating types of waste they've encountered, plus their favorite tips for eliminating them. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Top Mistakes Lean Leaders Make III
By: Lean Leaper | September 27, 2017
Mistakes are just a part of lean, even for leaders. Luckily they're also a great opportunity for improvement. Today three lean practitioners share mistakes they often see lean leaders make, plus the countermeasures to correct them. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Making Repetitive Tasks More Exciting
By: Aaron Hunt, Tim Kane and Daniel Papsidero | September 13, 2017
Repetitive tasks can create a drag on workers' morale and motivation as boredom sets in, and a disillusioned workforce will seriously hamper your lean efforts. So how do you keep repetitive tasks from becoming a source of discontent for your people? Three lean practitioners share their thoughts. More »
It's All About the Mindset on Gemba Walks
By: Darren Walsh | August 17, 2017
Darren Walsh believes that there are few things more critical to a successful gemba walk than the right mindset. Do you have the right one when you Go and See? Read more and find out. More »
From the Forums: SHOULD You Sweat the Small Stuff on Gemba Walks?
By: Lean Leaper | August 16, 2017
It's inevitable that as we Go and See, we'll notice many small, barely-noticeable mistakes happening in the work. But how to handle those mistakes? They may be small, but they're still mistakes - and you don't want to be seen as ignoring them. Join the discussion in the comments section! More »
Advice from the Gemba: Top Mistakes Lean Leaders Make II
By: Ken Eakin, Mark Hamel and Adam Hillsamer | June 13, 2017
Everybody makes mistakes, lean leaders included. Our previous list of mistakes made by lean leaders was the highest-performing installment in the Advice from the Gemba series - we now follow it up with a sequel. More »
Your Gemba Isn't the Only Gemba to Walk
By: Aaron Hunt | May 31, 2017
We all know the critical importance of gemba walks in our organization. But what many of us forget is that sometimes visiting OTHER gembas can be just as value add as visiting our own. Aaron Hunt knows this well - in his latest Post, he shares two stories of how visiting someone else's gemba inspired him to improve his own. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Personal Kanbans for Lean Beginners
By: James Connolly, Cameron DiGregorio and Kristen Gandek | May 25, 2017
Kanban boards. For many of us, they were the first visual management tools we used that taught us the benefits of lean. They're simple, effective and easily customizable to suit your own unique work and challenges. Today, three of LEI's relative newcomers to lean share their own personal kanban boards and the impact they've had on their work. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Standardizing Work for Leaders with Varied Tasks
By: Jean Cunningham, Karen Gaudet and Sammy Obara | May 12, 2017
How, many people ask LEI, can you possibly standardize a leader's work when even they can't predict what their work will look like on a given day? The answer: by adopting the right approach. Three LEI faculty members weigh in. More »
"Too Busy to Walk the Gemba"
By: Chris Weisbrod | May 10, 2017
Chris Weisbrod of Catalysis explains why healthcare leaders often claim they're too busy to walk the gemba and shares a strategy for reversing that mindset. More »
Advice from the Gemba: How Do People Accidentally Make Change Unsustainable?
By: Karen Gaudet, Lynn Kelley, David Verble and Brent Wahba | May 2, 2017
The only thing tougher than change is SUSTAINING change, we often hear. But does sustaining change need to be SO hard? Is it naturally and universally borderline impossible? Or is it possible that we, as humans, accidentally make sustainability harder than it has to be? Four LEI faculty members weigh in with their thoughts. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Top Mistakes Lean Leaders Make I
By: Alice Lee, Jim Luckman and Sammy Obara | April 18, 2017
Making mistakes is a natural part of lean thinking and practice. Here, three LEI faculty members share some common, yet easily avoidable mistakes made by lean leaders, as well as the countermeasures that can help resolve them. More »
What Too Many Lean Leaders Forget about Gemba Walks
By: darren walsh | April 13, 2017
Lean Coach Darren Walsh of the UK's Lean Enterprise Academy has seen many lean leaders make a troubling, yet highly avoidable, mistake on their gemba walks. Are you making that same mistake? Read his article and find out what it is and how to avoid it! More »
Advice from the Gemba: How Can I Change a Culture?
By: Lean Leaper | March 14, 2017
One of the most common questions asked by lean leaders is the question of culture change. How, they ask, can we change a firmly rooted culture to match our desired behaviors? As far as these four leaders are concerned, the answer is.  ..  by changing the work. Here are their stories. More »
Advice from the Gemba: TPS Mythbusting
By: Karen Gaudet, Josh Howell and Matthew Savas | January 4, 2017
Despite its fundamental role in a lean transformation, the Toyota Production System is not an easy thing for many to grasp. In this special installment of Advice from the Gemba, three of LEI's accomplished faculty discuss the most common misconceptions they hear about TPS from their workshop participants. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Best Tips for Designing a Work Experience
By: Lean Leaper | January 3, 2017
When designing a work experience, the benefits of having an experienced coach to guide you cannot be overstated. In this installment of Advice from the Gemba, three of the Lean Global Network's best coaches offer their favorite tips for designing a work experience. More »
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