Unclear on the Lean Concept: Gemba Walks


Here's the third cartoon collaboration with artist Carrie Schurman, CMA (AAMA), a workflow facilitator at a health system in Florida. See all of the cartoons here. More to come!

This cartoon is not inspired by any particular incident or any real health system, but it was based off my random thought about what would happen IF a senior executive really misunderstood the intent of a “Gemba Walk.”

gemba walk cartoon 2014

Clearly, gemba walks aren't about exercise. They're about observing in the workplace and being present to listen to employees in the spirit of servant leadership. A leader, of course, shouldn't brush off an employee who wants to talk to them or raise a concern.

I hope your leaders aren't breaking out the headbands and hand weights…

Are there any “real” gemba walk errors that you've seen in your experience?

You can see more of Carrie's artwork on her Tumblr site: http://theorganconspiracy.tumblr.com/


Get New Posts Sent To You

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

1 Comment
  1. Roman says

    One positive thing about the employee: He at least tried to ask his senior executive something. If there would not be a culture of improvement he even wouldn’t have tried :-)

    This graphic is a nice reminder how to perform a gemba walk: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/372954412865938723/

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Celebrating 15 Years of Lean Podcasting!! Learn More
+ +