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"Gemba" Can Save Your Life?


Study Warns Of Desk Jockey Clot Danger – CBS News

You might have heard of “Deep Vein Thrombosis” and blood clots as being a health risk on long plane rides, but what about sitting at a desk or in meetings all day?

Experts say you should get up and walk at least once every 30 minutes. Are you stuck in your office all day reviewing reports and sitting on conference calls?

If so, here's a health reason for getting up and going to the “Gemba” (the actual place). The Gemba is where problems are most effectively solved. This isn't “management by walking around,” nor is it a bureaucratic exercise.

Go talk to your workers, ask them what they would improve in the workplace. Ask them what you, as a leader, can be working on to make things better. If there's a problem that is tough to solve, have a stand up meeting right there, ask the “5 Whys” and try something that fixes the root cause of the problem.

Lean managers love the Gemba more than the love their offices. So, get out there… what can you do at the Gemba this week?

Here is a column written by our friend Norm Bodek on the “Gemba Walk” routine.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus. He is currently writing his next book, tentatively titled Measures of Success.

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