Being a leader of lean thinking and practice requires an in-depth understanding of the process and a passion for guiding others. LEI Senior Advisor John Shook and Lisa Yerian, chief improvement officer at the Cleveland Clinic, shared their experience as learners, practitioners, and coaches at Toyota Motor Company and Cleveland Clinic, respectively, as part of last year’s LEI’s Virtual Lean Learning Experience. In their presentation, “Jidoka 2020: Lessons in Enabling Structures from Cleveland Clinic and Toyota,” John shared, for the first time, the “Three A’s of the A3.” Here’s that portion of their presentation, along with a lightly edited transcript.
Here we have the three A’s of the A3. You heard that here first.
So, the A3 is defined by three A’s. We align on the way forward, right? We think together, decide where we need to go. What do we need to do? It’s just a structure to think together to align.
In that process, we want to ask good questions — that’s what a scientist does. That’s what a curious human does. We don’t force solutions. We say, “what is going on here?” We want to avoid both jumping to conclusions but also avoid analysis paralysis. We can use this [an A3] to help us do that.
And we adjust it to what goes wrong and to what goes right. So, we can do on-the-fly quick cycle PDCA, which several of you called out in your breakouts, and a more formal after-action review that I think Lisa was talking about in terms of whenever this thing [pandemic] ends, we can really step back and see what we’ve seen.
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Subscribe to the Virtual Lean Learning Experience, a continuing education service offering the latest in lean leadership and management.