In two recent articles LEI coach Mark Reich shared how a team of workers installing bundles of wires in a data center managed to reduce the time from 110 minutes to 4 minutes, dramatically improving the hard work needed to get the job done. Lean Coach and Toyota veteran Bryant Sanders worked with Mark on this project as a coach; and in this podcast with Deb McGee he shares background on how they went about helping the team.
Bryant discusses how they decided where to focus their efforts, identifying work that was ripe for improvement; and goes into the way that trust was developed through a shared effort of gaining clarity. Bryant shares how he helped these workers examine the work in depth, using Job Breakdown sheets as a means of teeing up the question of “How do we choreograph this work in a way that the workers can work together simultaneously?”
He also drills down into the process of deeply analyzing the work with the people who are doing it hands-on. His guided approach first clarified the work, offering that gift of clarity back to the workers gaining trust and a willingness to try. From that place of shared perspective, he engaged a reflection technique offering a level of objectivity that helped to root in an understanding of ‘why.’ With mutual understanding of what was happening and why it needed to change, Bryant facilitated peer to peer coaching effectively spreading knowledge and wisdom across the team developing people through the process of problem solving in the work.
This conversation fits into an ongoing series at LEI: the Coachable series opens with a reflective look between a coach and a learner (in two dimensions, looking back and forward) about some prerequisites for an effective coaching relationship to take root. From there, the conversation evolves with Art Smalley exploring two mental models effective for situationally adjusting your coaching practice, while assessing the learners needs and capabilities. Next, we bring the abstract notion of ‘coaching’ into reality, reflecting with NUMMI veteran Jeff Smith about creating the conditions – the environment- for meaningful coaching.
For techniques and perspectives on enrolling support and facilitating measurable improvement in the work, click here to listen, or download the transcript here. Let us know how this scenario compares to coaching experiences you’ve been a part of, and what you’re inspired to try!
Where the conversation leads from here relates to the challenges you face in the field, and what you need in order to coach and stay #coachable. We welcome your voice in the conversation and invite you to share your experience with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.