Funny Video about Lack of Labeling… or is it Lack of Training?


This commercial made me chuckle as somebody who has bought and used a lot of Brother label makers.

The video is meant to comically show the ill effects of a lack of labeling in a circus A/V control room (I saw this posted on Facebook by a college friend who does professional lighting design work for rock bands and pop stars). This clearly resonated with him (and I bet he labels things).

Watching the video, the root cause (to me) seems to be a lack of training, as the older guy very half-heartedly shows the younger guy how to run the lighting and sound for the circus. Or, at least that's a bigger contributor than the lack of labeling, perhaps. The “trainer” throws a manual at him… not exactly a textbook case of the Training Within Industry method, is it?

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 7.07.05 PM

The four-step TWI “Job Instruction” method would have been much more effective.

The older guy should have put the younger guy at ease and learned what he already knew about running A/V for a circus. He should have demonstrated how it was done, then doing so again while explaining “key points” and “reasons why.” He should have observed the younger guy running the board, coaching him and giving feedback. Even then, he's a few steps away from letting the younger guy run the show by himself.

Poor training + more labeling might have led to just the same problems:

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 7.08.41 PM

Funny commercial, though!

Don't do your training like that in a hospital!

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


    • This made me chuckle too! Poor kid :)

      It doesn’t always need to be a P-Touch label either. I’ve seen electronic labels (i.e. display names) used as an attempt to correct confusion about a new or changed process when training was also needed. They even did something equivalent to throwing the instruction manual (i.e. “standard work”) down and walking away like the guy in this video.

      So poor training plus more labeling (or re-labeling, and re-labeling again) resulted in the same problems.


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