Unlocking the Power of Kata: Tracy Defoe on Adult Learning, Coaching, and Asking Questions


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Joining us for Episode #467 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Tracy Defoe.

She is an adult education consultant and researcher specializing in workplace education. For parts of the last 10 years, she has been puzzling over the challenges of participation and leadership in continuous improvement.  

She has taught communication, writing, teamwork, and cross-cultural communication as well as teaching methods to adults in colleges, universities, and the workplace. A regular consultant to business, labour, and government, Tracy is also an advocate for plain language and clear design.

Questions, Notes, and highlights:

  • Her website
  • Your origin story for C.I., Lean, Kata…?
  • How to navigate teaching when there is a wide distribution of varied mix-level knowledge and experience in a room, when it's not 1×1 education?
  • Shifting from “push training” to “pull”
  • How much can somebody absorb at once when learning?
  • I don't know Yeti” – the mascot for Kata School Cascadia
  • The benefit of making learning fun?
  • Starter Kata questions – when is it OK to move beyond the rigid starter questions?
  • Teaching and coaching through questions
  • Being a 2nd coach? Mentor for the coach
  • Difficult to not jump in with advice when you DO know the process — for kata coaching?
  • Intervening vs. allowing them to make the mistake?
  • Being heard vs. feeling heard
  • The power of plain language… as opposed to jargon? What example comes to mind? Kata / Kaizen?
  • “Problem solving” sounds too definitive
  • Kaizen Events off track… Kata goes off track how?
  • Having a “third coach”?
  • Tell us about Kata Girl Geeks
  • Master Class with Tracy and Tilo Schwarz
  • Time in the coaching dojo and how you learn every time?

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Automated Transcript (Not Guaranteed to be Defect Free)

Announcer (1s):
Welcome to the Lean Blog podcast. Visit our website www.leanblog.org. Now, here's your host, Mark Graban.

Mark Graban (12s):
Hi, it's Mark Graban here, welcome to episode 467 of the podcast. It's January 25th, 2023. My guest today is Tracy Defoe. To learn more about her for a link to her website and more, you can look in the show notes or go to leanblog.org/467. As always, thanks for listening. Well, hi everybody. Welcome to the podcast. My guest today is Tracy Defoe. She's an adult education consultant. She's a researcher specializing in workplace education, and for parts of the last 10 years, she's been puzzling over the challenges of participation and leadership in continuous improvement. So that's gonna be really be our theme here today.

Mark Graban (53s):
Some perspectives and, and different ways of thinking about continuous improvement. So Tracy has taught communication, writing, teamwork, cross-cultural communication, as well as teaching methods to adults and colleges, universities and the workplace. She's a regular consultant to business, labor and government, and she's an advocate for plain language and clear design. So I'm gonna do my best to use clear language and we can learn from you.

Tracy Defoe (1m 17s):

Mark Graban (1m 18s):
Thank you for joining us, Tracy. How are you?

Tracy Defoe (1m 20s):
I'm great. Thanks for having me, mark. I'm really glad to be here.

Mark Graban (1m 24s):
Tracy's website, by the way, is www.thelearningfactor.ca, which gives you a little hint as to where she's connecting in from today. Where, where, where are you, Tracy?

Tracy Defoe (1m 37s):
I'm in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Though I have to tell you, a lot of people think that CA stands for California.

Mark Graban (1m 44s):
Yeah, it could. I mean, it's different. I, I've lived there. It's different, but no, it's still

Tracy Defoe (1m 50s):
The same. I'm still the same. I'm in Canada. That's right.

Mark Graban (1m 55s):
But there is, you, you've done a lot of speaking and work and collaborating with people here, down here in the States, right?

Tracy Defoe (2m 2s):
Yeah, sure. You bet. Yeah.

Mark Graban (2m 5s):
So there's a lot to talk about here today and you know, you, you've got, you know, I think a pretty unique background and expertise when it comes to education for a adults, and there's a lot we can learn here. But I'd like to always kinda start with the origin story, if you Sure. Like, for, for you, Tracy, what was the context of sort of the, when, where, why, and how you, you got introduced to continuous improvement?

Tracy Defoe (2m 27s):
Well, my, my lean origin story, I guess in a, as, as short as I can tell it, cause I can tell it as long stories too. I was teaching at the University of British Columbia. My, at the time I was teaching English as a second language and also writing and reading and some of that stuff that you mentioned. And a factory here in the suburbs called the university and said they had a problem they couldn't solve and did they have anybody who they thought could do that? And as it happened, I'm part of my job was special program design. So I I, I went out and met the people at the factory. It was a f it was at that time a pretty, it was big for the area.

Tracy Defoe (3m 7s):
It was about a hundred people, you know, maybe 20 engineers at the front and 80 people in the back making stuff they make, at that time they made boat steering, now they make boat steering and a bunch of other things. And they had been trying for about two years to get the Ford Q1 designation. So they realized that it might be that they were not good at teaching it. And remember that, oh, I didn't tell you this, but all the factory pretty much smoked variations of Chinese, Cantonese, Mandarin, whatever. But Vancouver's very multicultural place and everybody in the office pretty much spoke English. So there was some translating supervisors, I'm sure you've been in those places. So I went out and did some research, interviewed some people without a translator, and came up with a teaching plan.

Tracy Defoe (3m 53s):
And in nine weeks we had the Ford Quality designation. So they realized that if nine weeks of teaching could solve a problem that they've been working on for two years, maybe they sucked at teaching and learning. And so I, I still have them as a client actually many years, almost 30 years later. And that's how I learned lean. They said, you know, we're also trying to learn this Toyota production system stuff. Maybe you could, so they sent me on all the courses that they had, they were part of a consortia. And I came back and said, I thought we could improve those courses a lot if we took the push out of them. So, you know, a lot of concepts in lean translate very nicely to adult education.

Tracy Defoe (4m 34s):
Yeah. That's just one by one, one piece flow. All people are different. And maybe individual learning plan's a good idea. Yeah. But also you can waste a lot of time and energy with push. So, you know, if I go in with 200 slides and I run that lesson on 5s all day, no matter what you say, and it takes the same amount of time, whether I'm alone or you're in the room, that's push. So I said to them, I thought I could turn it around to pull. And that was the challenge I took up, was to take some of the waste out of their lean training. And, and that was the, my lean origin story. So my big strength as a, as a person who helps companies is I do not know how to run your company.

Tracy Defoe (5m 18s):
I do not know how to run your machines. So when I have to ask questions or go back to basics, it's pretty easy for me cuz I actually could not do that job. So it's a, it's a big piece. And then from there, so the, the lean teaching, the lean course that I worked out was based on questions and a hundred percent what I decided to do was to teach the concepts of lean flow, value added, you know, things like what do we mean by customer? Like that's a concept as much as it is anything else. So my course was based on concepts and as it happened some time into my career there, maybe I'd been there five years or something, some guy from the University of Michigan came out to teach standard work and they said, you know, you're, you're telling people to ask questions and not give answers.

Tracy Defoe (6m 10s):
And that's what this guy Mike Roth is telling people. Yeah. So that is how I got introduce, let's say, to the cate to the, to the infant Cate community at the time. Yeah. And have been, and I realized right away that what Mike Roth was doing with his work and research into Toyota management practices was a lot of exploring good adult learning and getting good adult learning practice. Yeah. Which translates into pretty good management. Yeah.

Mark Graban (6m 39s):
Yeah. So going back to that situation in, in that company was was like kinda, you know, framing the problem statement or diagnosing more specifically if, if they weren't real good at teaching, if they sucked at teaching, was was, was there more to it than the push versus poll? Or was that really kind of the main cause?

Tracy Defoe (6m 56s):
Oh, they were telling people what to do as they probably did in the factory, but what you really have to do is to figure out where people are at right. Current condition. Like where, where are they at, where do you need 'em to go? And, and what's the learning path in between? What, what support do they need and what are their ops, what are their barriers and obstacles? There are a few people at the, at the plant for ex, this is really funny. Manufacturing plants are awesome. Such a good learning environment because there's so many actual real life things to work on. And one of the weirder ones, so I don't know how you, this, the, that pro quality program worked just the way most of them do.

Tracy Defoe (7m 39s):
And that you had to be able to survive an audit. So somebody you didn't know had to be able to walk up to people and ask them, what do you do if there's a problem? Or how do you know this part is good? Or how do you interface with the safety system or something. And most people either couldn't understand the question or they couldn't give a good answer. And in how in teaching them, I discovered a whole bunch of those very, very competent machinists and machine operators and stuff. They could only read English text if it was an aerial caps font. Cause that's what engineering diagrams are written in. So they were extreme visual learners. And I mean that's, you know, I've been trying to get them to write upper and lower case on engineering diagrams for quite some time.

Tracy Defoe (8m 23s):
It's much easier to read. But anyway, so there's one little quirk. And then another one was they were really used to going through a few translating people. So they actually never tried to talk to anybody. Hmm. So I plumbed out what English they knew we pumped up what English they needed. Their math was all really good, no surprise. So they could already, they kept charts and things like that. They just had to be able to explain the chart. And if once you get down to very specific tasks, you know, it's teachable. Yeah. Yeah.

Mark Graban (8m 57s):
That, that whole idea of, as you put it, understanding the current condition and understanding what somebody knows. That reminds me of the training within industry approach. Yes. Which I believe starts with that whole like, you know, you, you, you don't, if if you're doing one-on-one instruction, especially, you can tailor the instruction.

Tracy Defoe (9m 19s):
That's why that's good. Right. One by one is what will work the best. Yeah.

Mark Graban (9m 22s):
Yeah. So then how, like, the challenge, and this, this is tough, I don't know if you've gotten you, if you have tips on addressing this, if, if you're teaching a class or giving a talk, inevitably there's maybe a bell curve distribution in the room of like, especially you go to conferences, like somebody may have just been thrown into a lean role and they can spell the word and they haven't learned anything yet. And then you might have someone in the room who's been doing it longer than you, any wishful, maybe they should be up here teaching because I could be learning from them. You know? And so it's like, do you, do you try to meet in the, you, you, you can't teach the person who's brand new because you might bore everyone else to death. But like how

Tracy Defoe (9m 60s):

Mark Graban (10m 0s):
Mark, if it can't, if it can't be one to one, how do you navigate

Tracy Defoe (10m 3s):
That? Okay, so when I was doing teacher instruction class, like when I was learning, one of my favorite mentors had a t-shirt and on his t-shirt it said set up and get out of the way. So your job in your mixed level group is to give them a task where each one can operate at the level of their edge of what they know. So we call that in, in education, the zone of proximal development. So, so most people don't learn way past what they already know. They learn at the edge of what they already know. And I always show my hand and say, and most people have a bumpy profile and they really like to learn where they're good at things and they don't really like to learn where they're not good at things.

Tracy Defoe (10m 47s):
So you do group work. So you say, well here's okay, get it down to the absolute simplest that auditor's coming up and you have to greet somebody, right. Some people are ready to say, hi, my name is Tracy and I'm the education person here. Other people are just gonna go hello and nothing else. Right? Yeah, sure. So we can all work on greetings at the level of our ability, assign a task, doesn't matter what it is, talk at your table, right? Yeah. And, and then you get to observe the, the people and see who's quiet, who's whatever. And what I usually do is I redo the groups.

Tracy Defoe (11m 28s):
You gotta decide do you want all the people at the same level together? Do you want mixed level groups? In which case you go up to the most able person and you say, look, I know you know, you know a lot about this, how about you help facilitate your group and make sure everybody talks. Cuz usually they're gonna talk a lot. So the mixed level group thing, like assigning a task, observing people and then taking another step is probably the best strategy for that. The other ones are for a conference, be sure you have your visuals really support what you're saying, but don't have your words on the screen. And then use the same word for e all the time for everything.

Tracy Defoe (12m 8s):
I used to teach university writing. Okay. And we teach people not to use the same word maybe twice on a

Mark Graban (12m 14s):
Page. Try to mix it up.

Tracy Defoe (12m 15s):
Yeah. Come on, you got vocabulary. Let's see it. Right? Yeah. Yeah. I actually have taught the course technical writing for engineers. And that is why, you know, as punishment I teach pe I now teach clear language because we actually taught people to never refer to themself. You know, it has been found kind of stuff. And so if you use, consistently use the same word for the same thing, people who are really new will catch on quickly. And, and if you mix it up, you know, we talked about where people are at now, but if I started calling that current condition or current state or operating pattern or status quo, or I could use a lot of words.

Tracy Defoe (12m 55s):
Sure. Cause now everybody who's is wondering if this is all the same thing. Yeah. Well that's one of the easy ways to increase communication. Pick a term, stick with it.

Mark Graban (13m 5s):
Yeah. Not, not to get too sidetracked on this, but I'm, I'm, I'm trying to finish up a book. I've been writing about learning from mistakes and you know, there's, there's a grammar tool and it's quite often suggesting like maybe you should use the word error or you know, mix it up. Well not, you know, the word I'm using very specifically for specific reason is mistake. And so Sure. That that word's gonna appear a lot.

Tracy Defoe (13m 27s):
Yeah. That those grammar tools are difficult. Crutch. Yeah. I could tell you about a tool that I use when I'm editing, but maybe not on the Oh sure. Put it in a plug. Perfect. It perfect. It is what editing is perfect

Mark Graban (13m 41s):

Tracy Defoe (13m 41s):
Oh, perfect It

Mark Graban (13m 43s):

Tracy Defoe (13m 44s):
It. Yes. It'll go past what Grammarly or your word thing will do. And you can tell it I like this word. And one of the cool things it'll tell you is you used the word but you already defined it before. Did you wanna define it again? Or, Hey, last time you said lean, you put capitals or, you know, it helps finds all the inconsistencies that are really hard to find by yourself.

Mark Graban (14m 8s):
Okay. I'll have to look at that. Cuz I, I have used grants.

Tracy Defoe (14m 10s):
We have a sale on

Mark Graban (14m 13s):
Do you have a promo code or I

Tracy Defoe (14m 15s):
Don't, I know, but I just, I get emails. I happen to notice they had a sale.

Mark Graban (14m 18s):
Yeah. Okay. Well, we'll we'll check that out because, well, you know, when it comes to clear communicating, whether it's in writing or, or you know, verbally, that's, that's important. I wanna come back to that point in, in, in a bit. But I was gonna ask you when it comes back to, to teaching in instructional design and adult learning. So I think one other question is, and I think this is addressed in in t w as well, like, how much can somebody really absorb in

Tracy Defoe (14m 45s):
Less than less than you think and less than they think, right? Yeah.

Mark Graban (14m 49s):
Well, and, and look at how many workshops are designed with a default of like, here's an eight hour workshop and yeah,

Tracy Defoe (14m 55s):
I'm against that actually, I think Covid was great for adult learning because we all got down to the 45 minute zoom that was free for a while. That was awesome. Yeah. And then people paid for Zoom and now they can go longer. But I, I have an absolute max at 90 minutes. And if we are, okay, so when I started teaching we used to say 15 minutes. So four times an hour you have to change your activity to keep people's attention. Right? So the change of activity could just be write for yourself, talk to your neighbor, get in a group of four, stand up and write on the whiteboard. You know, that, that would count. And even changing the, what we're looking at.

Tracy Defoe (15m 36s):
So look at the front now look at the back, those things reset. Now nobody's got 15 minutes of anyone's attention, right? Like, if you're lucky, you're gonna get like seven minutes of somebody's attention, maybe three minutes. So we have to up the pace of the change in what we're doing. One really great way people do that is to tell a story. So narrative is fantastic for memory, narrative is great. So you start to tell a story, then you do your lesson thing and then you pick the story up again. And if you, if you break the story up, if with cliff hangers, if you can, I actually think with t w i, that might be pretty easy to do because there's always a story of the product or the story of the customer or the story of the people who make it.

Tracy Defoe (16m 21s):
Yeah. Yeah.

Mark Graban (16m 23s):
So, gosh, that makes me think we're about 15 minutes in the episode. Yeah.

Tracy Defoe (16m 26s):
Sorry. Do another whole podcast just on education tips. I haven't even talked about reading yet. Yeah. Reading is the most abused probably skill, you know, the most abused skill we assume people can read and then we make it super hard for them with all of our choices of fonts, white space capitals. I, I teach a little, I frequently teach a little course on that because I think when people learn about layout and how people read layout, they can actually improve quickly compared to trying to learn editing or word choice or something like that.

Mark Graban (16m 58s):
Yeah, yeah. Well I'm gonna, I'm gonna mix it up a little bit here. I wasn't critic, I wasn't criticizing you for I was just saying, okay, it's been 15 minutes, let's it up. So tell us a little bit more for those who are listening and not watching on YouTube, they can't see your kata pin that you're wearing. So tell, tell us a little bit more about that and like, you know, the, the symbolism of, of the brain,

Tracy Defoe (17m 19s):
Well the lifting

Mark Graban (17m 20s):
Weights and how, how can, how weight

Tracy Defoe (17m 22s):
Develop weightlifting brain. The weightlifting brain was the symbol for Toyota ca. I don't know when they did it. Probably early on, and I suspect, you know, Mike Roth and Mark Rosenthal and Teo Schwartz probably did it on a napkin in a bar. But I don't have any idea on the origin of that. So I spend a, most of my time these days in sleep in the Toyota Academy methods. I I am of course as we all are a learner coach and a second coach, I actually spend most of my afternoons as a second coach. And I think the, the idea is that you, this one Mike did for me, this one is heart hand, right? It's the brand. Oh,

Mark Graban (18m 0s):
You're right. Yes. It's a

Tracy Defoe (18m 1s):
Heart hand brand. Yeah. It's a heart and a hand. Yeah. And that's because I was always talking about, yeah sure you have behaviors, you do this stuff, you think this stuff, you'll get stronger, but it doesn't mean much if you can't engage people's feelings. So I was always the one talking about feelings. How do you feel with your coach? How do you feel at your storyboard? And so anyways, I'm big on on in trying to make the manager accountable for the tone and the feelings of the coaching cycle too. So I don't know if people know what it is, but Toyota Canada is a, a pattern for mostly managers, but for people who are leading other people to learn to, to practice a, a very specific structured method in order to have the outcome of improving their scientific thinking and solving tough problems that they didn't know that they could solve.

Tracy Defoe (18m 54s):
So I, over the course of Covid actually opt my activities in that area because the Zoom gave me the world and, and quite a few time zones at the same time. So I started a couple of a Kata school, Kata school Cascadia, and we are probably the most active Kata school on the planet. I don't know, I think we might be. And, and a cat school isn't really a school, it's just a bunch of people who get together to do stuff. And, and also of course the Kata Girl Geeks Yeah. Started that during Covid too, which is a bunch of women helping women learn that thing. So

Mark Graban (19m 30s):
Yeah. Well and you pointed behind you. Who, who is that what your, the, the character feature behind you?

Tracy Defoe (19m 37s):
Yes. This is, I don't know, Yeti, I dunno if you can read his pin. I don't know Yeti. And he is our mascot. He's the mascot of Cat school Cascadia. And he has a really fun origin story. I actually did a little talk about him at our ca at our meetup not too long ago. We were on a zoom call as we are every Friday. And we were talking about the power of adding the word yet to, I don't know, you know, a lot of coaches have struggle or maybe other people in drawing out learning from people. What did you learn? What did you, you know, how did that go? And they just don't reflect much. So anyway, if you're lucky, you can hit the place the edge of what you know, or what Mike Roth calls the threshold of knowledge.

Tracy Defoe (20m 22s):
And somebody will say, I, I don't know. I don't know what to do. And so we were talking about as a coach, how awesome it is, if you can get the word yet in there. I don't know yet. Right. Which is that growth mindset, the idea that you could learn it. And Mark Rosenthal said he, he kinda started laughing and said, Hey, we should, we should have a mascot and it should be be a Yeti and we'll call him, I don't know, Yeti. And so Jama Jones was on the call. I'm just looking to see if I have a, the original picture, I don't have it handy. So she sketched one, we put it on t-shirts, we put it on mugs, this isn't it. And then a couple of them were made, and I was looking for a low price point consumer version.

Tracy Defoe (21m 8s):
This is a 1899 Amazon Yeti. That, and then I, we printed the button. So if anybody gets there and I a Yeti of any kind, they want to be, and I don't know Yeti, and they get in touch with Calo Cascadia, I could send them a button. And I think there's, I don't know, I personally have distributed over a hundred, I don't know, Yeti buttons. So that whoever this thing, this one is, is made by Aurora World and it's a baby toy. Very cuddly. And if you, you'll often see them now in people's zoom or even on factory floors. And I was second coaching somebody the other day who's in a pretty heavy duty factory with like CNC machines and stuff.

Tracy Defoe (21m 49s):
And so the coaches there and the learners there and they're saying, well how are you? You know, what do you expect to happen? And he said, I don't know. And then the coach went, Hey, you said it. And then he, what they do in their factory is if someone says, I don't know, they chuck around the Yeti. Yeah. They do it back and forth between each other like a dad throwing babies up the air. Cause there's like a 40 foot ceiling in this building,

Mark Graban (22m 11s):
This thing. So you're throwing it higher than a baby. But yeah,

Tracy Defoe (22m 14s):
It went to the moon back. Yeah, exactly. So anyways, the Yeti, we've had so much fun in 2022 with the Yeti. And I think for me also that shows kind of like my general spirit in terms of doing this stuff is it should be fun. Yeah. And if we're gonna do stuff in community, if we can have fun while we do it, then I think it, it attracts the right learning vibe to our, to our teaching. We are not super serious, you know? Yeah. We are having fun.

Mark Graban (22m 40s):
But I mean I've, I've heard, and it's, you know, some of these things that you brought bring up I've heard from, for former Toyota people I've learned from I think a Pascal Dennis from Yes. Ontario,

Tracy Defoe (22m 52s):
Also Canadian. Yes.

Mark Graban (22m 54s):
And he would, he would also, he will always talk about having to, you know, engage hearts and minds.

Tracy Defoe (23m 1s):

Mark Graban (23m 2s):
Ideas straight from Toyota. And then, you know, Pascal would, would, would often talk about trying to have what he called a light touch of like trying to have, bring some humor or lightness. Cause you know, he, his experience was that it, it helps facilitate learning. You know, it's not, he's not doing standup comedy when he is teaching lean, but No,

Tracy Defoe (23m 21s):
But you gotta bring your stress down.

Mark Graban (23m 22s):
Yeah. Yeah. So tell tell me more about that then of making it fun and the benefit of that.

Tracy Defoe (23m 27s):
Well the, first of all, it's a vulnerable place, right? If you wanna, if you are actually being taught or if, if someone has decided you need to learn something. So if it wasn't you, that's like a super vulnerable place. And then if we're asking you to like write down what you think or you know, or, or chart data or something in lots of work and learning environments being wrong is kind of a risk, right? Like you're risking being reprimanded or you're risking whatever. Actually, mark Rosenthal says his, his Japanese sensei used to hit him on the back of the head with a ruler. But I've never had that kinda teacher and I'm not that kinda

Mark Graban (24m 7s):
Teacher, right? We shouldn't No,

Tracy Defoe (24m 9s):
No. Yeah. But, so the positive reinforcement is totally just, you know, if you, if you are, if you're stressed out, your cortisone levels go high, you're not imprinting new brain patterns, right? Yeah. And anybody who on the, who listens to this, who has kids may have heard their kids teachers say, cuz teachers are huge on brain science now. Like, it's basically all we talk about is brain science. And so the things you do at the same time end up in your brain. And if you repeat them, they really end up as pathways and like automatic reactions. And so we always say what fires together, wires together. If you get two synapses firing at the same time, there will be a connection.

Tracy Defoe (24m 51s):
And if the connection could be pleasant, I like reading, you know, like I always say, what is the ability to read without, without like a love of reading? You know, like, what have you got, you've got a technical skill that you will use as little as possible. Right? And then the other part is that learning, you know, hu people are meant to be in social groups, you know, we are comfortable, we are safer. So a social group that can provide the environment where it's safe to, to be, to learn, I think that's, that's optimal. Yeah. Yeah. Like you can't learn with your guard up.

Mark Graban (25m 28s):
Right? Yeah. And we've gotta provide another way of framing that would be pro creating conditions for psychological safety.

Tracy Defoe (25m 37s):
Absolutely. Yeah.

Mark Graban (25m 38s):
Safe to say, I don't know, safe to say, wait, I don't understand safe to say I tried something and oh, it didn't work well, okay. Within a kata cycle, that's great. But it, it is probably hard to introduce some of that if you're trying to bring it into a workplace that has pretty low psychological safety. Some of the things we might assume of like, well, it's okay to say I don't know yet. Hmm. And some workplaces still that that might not be okay.

Tracy Defoe (26m 1s):
No. And what I see all the time is because my, you know, my primary job is I, I observe people, right? People are giving you what they, what they receive. So, you know, it's their dad, it's their first teacher. It's the way that they were managed. You know, that's why Mike Roth sometimes says, your first job is your most important job because that's where you're gonna start to learn work culture. So you should pick a job in the, in the sort of like an aspirational culture, like the, the way that you wish to spend your work life. But if you came under someone who is hypocritical or micromanaging you or made you feel scared to make a mistake, you are gonna pass that on.

Tracy Defoe (26m 42s):
It's like pretty hard to purch that out of yourself.

Mark Graban (26m 47s):
Yeah. So it, it makes me think of, you know, growth mindset, which seems to be emphasized a lot in education today. And, you know, not, not to go back into my origin story, but you know, I've, I've talked to you before of that first job outta college. Was it a General Motors factory that was classic old, bad, ugly people? Didn't say toxic culture or toxic workplace, but it was, I still have some wounds or scars from that. I mean, I think I've been able to move past it because maybe it was only a year and then we got, you know, the one I called the good plant manager who had the new me experience. And so maybe it wasn't a long enough exposure to be unrecoverable.

Mark Graban (27m 30s):
But, but I can think of environments where, you know, let's say you have a workplace that has fairly high psychological safety, then someone else new comes in, they might not feel safe because they weren't safe in the previous workplaces. And you can't expect them to say, well it's safe here, feel safe. Like it doesn't, it doesn't work that way.

Tracy Defoe (27m 50s):
You have to earn it every time. Yeah. And, and actually, you know, that's, instructors know that everyone can never come back, right? Like I, no one comes to me under mandate, so I have to earn the return every time. Yeah. I, I think the other thing about that is like, my first job was at the university. So this is, you know, what kind of baby boomer I am, I got hired back at my learning place and they taught me how to be a teacher. But in the, my first job every Friday at lunch, the whole group gathered and we talked about what we were learning and what we were struggling with and people shared stuff. So I sort of thought making your own stuff and talking about it was really normal and I super value that experience because it turned me into a applied researcher from day one, right?

Tracy Defoe (28m 37s):
Yeah. But I do see people all the time too who, I mean, it, it might be work culture, it might be home culture, it might be your school, school culture. And so it's, if you can notice it, you can probably mitigate it or at least try to be different. And actually the cat is the, it's the pattern to do that because you are completely restricted in what you can say and do if you're the leadership role, if you're in the coach role.

Mark Graban (29m 5s):
Yeah. Yeah. Or at least as as my, and I'm not kata expert or you know, kata geek, but my understanding No,

Tracy Defoe (29m 15s):
We're I'm working on you, mark. I'm gonna work on

Mark Graban (29m 17s):
You. Yeah. I'm not opposed to it, but, we'll, we'll come back and talk about jargon and language in a bit, but, and you know what we anchor ourselves in, but where was I going with that

Tracy Defoe (29m 30s):
Actually derail you repeat. Okay. Go. Did you get there or No,

Mark Graban (29m 32s):
I derailed myself.

Tracy Defoe (29m 34s):
So I would love to segue just from that safety bit to something that Deondra, Wardell and I are working on. Okay. Is that okay? Please? Yeah. Yeah. So I was deandre's first coach and she was the first person I ever coached remotely. And she tells that story all the time.

Mark Graban (29m 49s):
She gives you credit a lot.

Tracy Defoe (29m 50s):
I do not. I know people think I'm great and it's all Deandre, it's so good. So you don't, what you, everyone really needs is one person who will tell everybody that you're an awesome person. Yeah. But in fact we've, we've developed, we've, we've looked back a little bit at Deandre's experience in that role and about safety because, and we've made a workshop that's about how you can kind of operationalize or, or get some traction on your equity and engagement goals. Which a lot of, a lot of organizations now have these diversity, what is it? Diversity inclusion. Equity and accessibility I think is the last part. Goals. But they don't know how to do them and so they, they just don't reach 'em.

Tracy Defoe (30m 32s):
And we tell the story about our first coaching experience and how it can in fact create a safe space for somebody who never felt safe at work. Right. And partly cuz it takes, I I've been joking about, you know, your middle-aged white manager and it tells 'em to only say these things and basically by restricting what people say, you create more space for listening but also for the other person. And then we actually gives them the heart and brain thing and say, hey, you know, pay attention to this person and what's going on for them. And so we've, we are preparing for, for kaon nine a half a day workshop on that.

Tracy Defoe (31m 13s):
But we actually want to turn it into a bigger learning because we found that so many people were like, I had no idea what to do and this test telling me what to do. And, and they kind of walk out with a little plan whether they use the cat or not, of how they could get some traction on their diversity goals for managers. Which I think is like, wow, if I get to, if I get to participate in that, like that's a legacy. So I'm really excited about that.

Mark Graban (31m 39s):
Good. And so I got back on track and you mentioned, you know, the the card and the, the the limited words. And so what I was gonna ask was, my understanding of it is that there are the starter kata questions Yes. For some period of time thou shall not deviate until you get to a point where then it becomes okay to customize or deviate or so with that or other things we're taught, like is there a general benefit this happens sometimes with, with, with lean coaches of like, okay, no, I'm gonna show you this very rigid way Yes. Until you've, you've mastered it and then you can start customizing instead of trying to ma customize it, make it our own from the very beginning.

Mark Graban (32m 22s):
Can you kind of talk through some of that process or how do you decide when you can shift from very limiting starter kata to your own version of that or your own version of something else?

Tracy Defoe (32m 33s):
I think, okay, so I have two answers to that First answer is you will decide too soon because everyone thinks they're way better at what they're doing than what they are. So that's like simple fact Dunn

Mark Graban (32m 44s):
Kruger, right?

Tracy Defoe (32m 46s):
Yes, that's right. Yes. The only, the first rule is you don't know that you're in the club, right? Yeah. And so that's why we have this concept, what we call a second coach, but it's really just a, a mentor for the coach And we talk about, so we don't even want you to change the words because we want you to use to shut down your habit of what you want, which is to give your own idea, right? You wanna say, let me coach you, here's the six ways I've done this before and none of them apply to this industry, but I still think they would work, right? Yeah. So I think the idea that you have a starter cat is exactly like hold your hand a certain way.

Tracy Defoe (33m 30s):
You know, people say that like, you know, we're going to do this for a long time before we throw a baseball because you gotta get both arms up, et cetera. And I think the, the idea, and I'm not gonna use the Japanese words cuz I don't speak Japanese and I'm not Japanese, but there's this concept of structured pattern practice until you have the muscle memory and the neural pathways to do something. And those are usually physical activities, but they also apply to speaking activities and lots of ways if you're standing up the kata coaching can be a physical activity, but so you, you follow the pattern until not just you have it memorized or something, but until it is completely second nature to you.

Tracy Defoe (34m 13s):
And then the deviation might be a variation. I like to think of it as dancing, you know, I don't watch Dancing with the Stars, but I know people who do. So, you know, how do we know you're doing a waltz and you know, how do we know that's not a tango? Yeah. Certain rules. There's rules, right? And so Telo Schwartz, who's one of my, I work with Telo Schwartz, we do the masterclass together. Telo, he abbreviated the card. He dropped two of Mar Mar I know, but he's a master. So, you know, you eventually, you know, you can, if you've got control of all of those things and you can, and you make it look easy, you can find your own path.

Tracy Defoe (34m 60s):
But I would say for like, most Americans and Canadians think they can do this in a month. And most people, I would say are probably realistically four to six months from being able to coach even with practice and then mastery. I don't know. I mean I've been doing this more than 10 years now. I feel like I kind of know how to do it. But, but when you put me back and I work on my own problem and I have a coach like this actually surprised someone the other day, I, I make mistakes of course because now you're into my brain, my assumptions, my jumping to conclusions and things like that. So the, when you can produce a good quality in a learner.

Tracy Defoe (35m 44s):
So it's sort of like, I think this is how martial arts work, but I don't do martial arts either. Yeah. But you know, it isn't so much can you do this thing? It's like who was your, who is your teacher? Who taught you Right. Who taught?

Mark Graban (35m 55s):
You hear that in, you hear that in lean circle sometimes.

Tracy Defoe (35m 57s):
Yeah. Well because it's a pedigree, right? Yeah. And so when you have produced enough people, when you brought them through their own challenges and you feel like you have, you know, and you can demonstrate that you have a very good control of all of these basics. And by the way, there's a ton of them, right? Like right now I'm coaching somebody who's coaching his first person through a process analysis of initial current condition studying a, a moving line. There's a lot of moving parts. And he, I'm like, this is gonna take two weeks. They're like two weeks. I'm like, maybe three. Like just e accept it. We need to know where we are, right? And so, but so he's kind of revisiting things from the other side.

Tracy Defoe (36m 41s):
So I've done this as a learner. Oh, now I gotta do it as a coach, I can't, I I need to figure out what he's doing. It's, it's quite a shift. And then when am I a coach that doesn't need the training wheels? Right? That's a long time. So I think I would tell people to err on the side of too long rather than too short. Yeah. Although if you have a community and help, but that's one of the things we do with our s Every Friday people call in and tell us what they're working on and then we can help each other. Think if you had that safety net of other people, we sure you can accelerate that. I have a huge advantage in that I know I don't know how to do the process.

Mark Graban (37m 20s):

Tracy Defoe (37m 21s):
So then I don't give advice on how to set up your CNC machine. Right?

Mark Graban (37m 25s):
You're not gonna

Tracy Defoe (37m 26s):
Give the answers. On the other hand, I've been around manufacturing for so long, I can usually ask good questions.

Mark Graban (37m 33s):
So then as a second coach, you, I mean you, you're, you're try, you're also trying to, you know, the kata process. So you're, you're, is it hard to sometimes not jump in with advice? Or are you trying to coach Oh my god, coach through question.

Tracy Defoe (37m 48s):
I turn off my microphone and I turn off my camera so they can't see me go, you know? Yeah. Not once in a while I will send a private message to a coach if we're on a zoom where you can do that today I was on Zoom teams and Google meets and Google meets won't let you do that. Had a co had a coach skip an entire question the other day. And at the end, later on she realized it. And I told her, if you're gonna skip a question, the only question I don't want you to ever skip is what did you learn? So, you know, if, if, if you skip something that's o otherwise, okay, we'll get it tomorrow.

Tracy Defoe (38m 30s):
And that's the other relentless thing I think about this learning is it recognizes short cycles every day or even twice a day. You're not gonna do this with three days, eight hours with a expert once every quarter or once a year. Which is more likely how people used to try to approach things.

Mark Graban (38m 49s):
Right. So then, I mean, what, what I hear you saying is it's because look, no, it it, it's not like a potential mistake in healthcare where somebody could die. If someone skips a question, you could jump in and intervene or let the mistake happen and then reflect and, and help them realize after the fact what happened. What was the impact of that.

Tracy Defoe (39m 12s):
Yeah. And, and we have a, we have a poke for that. We have a way to prevent the error, which is that you move your thumb with the question and then you look down and see where you are. So I taught, I taught that person that, but you, if they never need to learn that, like they never make the mistake, I don't take time. That's push If I teach them all the things before they need them. Right? And so I think also that now I forgot, lost my train cause I had a really good thing to tell you about learning that I've forgotten. But anyway, it's the everyday, everyday little bit, little bit. And it's no big deal. We're coming back tomorrow and it really suits the workplace because it's no big deal. We're coming back tomorrow.

Tracy Defoe (39m 52s):
When I first learned about the kata, and I'm just gonna say this cuz people, I actually thought it that it worked like that the secret sauce was that your boss listened to you. Okay? Like I used to say to people, when's the last time your boss came down and listened to you for 15 minutes? Like just listened to you forget asking questions, right? So I actually thought it was the relationship thing and the idea that you were being heard and stuff that was producing all these results. And then when I actually, and I also thought people would say, if I asked you what's your challenge? And I asked you that yesterday that you would say to me, dude, I told you yesterday, like, I actually thought that would happen.

Tracy Defoe (40m 33s):
Like there'd be a thought bubble that said, nothing has changed since our last conversation. But if you're at work, a whole bunch happened in this eight hours, right? No matter when it is. And what actually happened to me when I, when I had that experience was I didn't feel like you're wasting my time. We talked about this, I actually thought cool, we're on the same page. Like, wow, this is happening. So I think there's a lot of dopamine, there's a lot of pleasure that comes out of many, many parts of this that turn it into really intelligent learning, like good learning.

Mark Graban (41m 10s):
Yeah. Yeah. And so there's that feeling of, like I say, you know, I, I imagine it could be a powerfully emotional moment if they are really being heard, being listened to, you know, for the, for the first time. And you know, I, I appreciate that you said the more definitive being heard because I, I think it's a mistake sometimes I hear people say, I want people to feel like they were heard. I'm like, wait, no, no, no, no. Like, it's more of a Yoda thing. Like you are heard or not heard. I mean, but there, I mean there is the feeling that you could say, I want them to feel good because they are being heard. But sometimes it almost, you know, you you, you hear people wanting to kind of create the impression Yes.

Mark Graban (41m 52s):
Instead of actually learning.

Tracy Defoe (41m 54s):
And if you can fake that right, then you're really good. Yeah. Well the, I always think, cuz I used to teach a course on understanding your culture. I haven't taught it in a while cuz I, but I used to tell people that everyone wants respect and trust, right? Everybody wants respect and trust. So when you listen to people, they usually feel respected. So it can be a real foundation towards having respect in your workforce that people listen. But then when you listen to people and you don't gossip about them, you don't tell anybody. Right? And you give them the opportunity to like, say, take a tiny step and try an idea. Then they, they know that you trust them and they can trust you.

Tracy Defoe (42m 35s):
And so there's a lot of things built in here that a lot of things in adult education principles, but also a lot of things in, in this approach to improvement that engender that kind of learning culture.

Mark Graban (42m 48s):
Yeah. Yeah. I'm gonna ask you, you know, back to the idea of jargon versus plain language, you know, I think the same question could apply to the word kaizen, which I had been introduced to long before the the other K word kata.

Tracy Defoe (43m 5s):

Mark Graban (43m 5s):
Me too. And oh, I'm sorry,

Tracy Defoe (43m 8s):
Me too. I, I Gaba Kaizens one of my favorite books. Yeah,

Mark Graban (43m 11s):
Yeah, yeah. And, and so, you know, you wonder, does that word does using the word the Japanese word having to translate it, there's probably pros and cons. Does it help? You know, same question about kata, if it hit, if it were called something different or like, does that jargon kind of pull someone in like, huh, that sounds what? That's, I don't know what that is. Tell me more. Yeah. As opposed to using a word that people might feel like they already do now.

Tracy Defoe (43m 40s):
Yes. Well it's good if it's a word you, if you already know it and you know it from martial arts and it means pattern to learn Exactly in order to gain a skill, then that's good. The thing we Kazan, I think is in the regular English dictionary now, like it has become part of our language and whether it's positively connotated, you know, like that I'm not, I can't speak to that really. I think if Mike Rother had the do back, he might not call it kata. I know he wouldn't have called it Toyota Kata cuz the publisher decided to call it Toyota Kata. But there, the original title of his research book was beyond what we Can See.

Tracy Defoe (44m 21s):
So getting past the tools, the thing, one of the things I like about it is it got us away from problem solving as our objective. So one of the research project, well back when I was teaching lean all the time, you know, I got to the part where you're supposed to teach problem solving methods and problem solving tools. So I did what I always did. I went out on the floor and I tried to collect stories and I went up to, I don't know, 35 people and asked them if they could tell me a problem solving story or a story in which they solved the problem. And I had very few takers on problem solving, because it sounds definitive,

Mark Graban (45m 2s):
Right? Solve,

Tracy Defoe (45m 3s):
Yeah, yeah, exactly. It's gone. And nobody wanted to go on the record of having absolutely solved the problem. I found one, and it was a place, it was a bit of a historic one, but this place they used to match fit parts, right? So they would machine 'em and then they would measure 'em to like a 10th of a th or something and they'd have boxes of, you know, 5.1 2, 5 1 5 2 5 2. And they had to be exact or else they would leak. And, and there were three guys, a lathe operator, a CNC guy, a technician. They worked for a long time until they could hold the tolerance and the once they could hold the tolerance, any two pieces would fit.

Tracy Defoe (45m 45s):
And it immediately had like a million dollar effect, of course in their production. So that was the only people willing to own a solve problem. So I think the idea of incremental improvement or practice is quite freeing for people. You don't have to kill the elephant, you know, you don't have to find the biggest piece of game and hunt it down and have it never, ever come back. I think. So that's Hall Frolic, who's one of my, my mentors and somebody I coached with for a while, who we lost last year, how used to say who wants problems, nobody but challenges. If I can give you a challenge that you're gonna meet, you know, you might, I might be, can get more engagement on that.

Mark Graban (46m 26s):
Yeah. So yeah, that's an interesting framing to think through problem solving. And that's why I think, you know, in Lean we tend not to use the word solution. We say countermeasure.

Tracy Defoe (46m 36s):

Mark Graban (46m 37s):
Because the solution leads to solved as

Tracy Defoe (46m 40s):
Opposed, but countermeasure is just not a sexy term.

Mark Graban (46m 42s):
It's clunky. Yeah, yeah. As an English word, it's clunky. But you know, if you go back to origins of, you know, kaizen means continuous improvement, you think of PDSA cycles and the emphasis of cycles. Cycles. Yes. A a lot of that was, you know, I think was already there in, in Kaizen. And, and so then this was this part of my own learning journey and I'll, I I'll admit to having maybe just, you know, I, I struggled at first to see how Kata was different than, I'm like, well I I, that's a different word, okay. But I already, I, I have kaizen and that works for me. And I know I'll admit to like, I was curious about Kata, but I didn't really dive into it.

Mark Graban (47m 25s):
Now. It then once I gave my myself the opportunity to learn and, and not be so stubborn, I'm like, okay, well the kata mindset and process does bring something very different and some different things

Tracy Defoe (47m 39s):

Mark Graban (47m 40s):
To the continuous improvement process, if we want to call it that instead of the problem solving,

Tracy Defoe (47m 45s):
Well, among other things, it, it brings you the little bit of effort every day and a way to be continuous because most kaizen is extremely intermittent.

Mark Graban (47m 55s):
Well, so that, that's a whole different question about the word kaizen, right? So

Tracy Defoe (47m 59s):
I think Yes,

Mark Graban (47m 59s):
Of course. Yeah. I think of, you know, kaizens and you know, my book with Joe Schwartz healthcare Kaizen is about the small daily Yeah. Habits, incremental improvements, cycles going upward. My pet peeve jargon wise is when I hear people say we did X number of kaizen, when they, what they really mean is Kaizen events. And I'm like, I yes, try to be a stickler of like a Kaizen event is one form of Kaizen, right? But if it's a cousin event, you, it's harder to say, but I'm always like, ugh, just say Kaizen event because that is sporadic and that causes problems.

Tracy Defoe (48m 37s):
You know, when somebody's in that culture of intermittent improvement involving many people that ends up with a list of what to do. The Kaizen newspaper, what we tell people now is instead of doing that, you see your event time or your down your time when you're all together as a series of Kata coaching cycles and end with a storyboard. So that Monday morning when the group has gone back to work, that whoever the people who actually work there are, they're not left with a list of to-dos. They're left with a list of target conditions or, and obstacles and things to continue to learn about their process that is manageable enough that they can do it themselves.

Tracy Defoe (49m 23s):

Mark Graban (49m 24s):
So there's, I mean there's a couple things that come to mind. You know, ki kaizen events, you know, I think people would say the point is to have action during the week or however long the event is. Yeah. It's a doing event, right? Where you might say a Kaizen event, I'll say this is judgmental into Yeah. Definitive, but a Kaizen event done wrong has nothing but like, you know, observing and talking and whatever. And then all the action is in the follow up plan. I think a lot of people would say, well that's not how a Kaizen event is supposed to be, but that happens or that evolves. Yeah. Is there a variation of, of Kata that could kind of go off the track of what it's supposed to be?

Mark Graban (50m 10s):
Do you see places where they say we're doing kata and you're like, oh, all the time that's gotten off track? Like what, what are some of the ways people get off

Tracy Defoe (50m 16s):
Track in in, in both of the communities that I'm, you know, the women's group and Oh, that's what I was gonna tell you before about the women's group. Now the moment is gone, but in Cate Geeks we get refugees from bad coaching people who, you know, like lots of people now I think have dabbled in Kata but never been coached, right? And we tell people, you know, you gotta be a learner and you gotta be a learner long enough that you get it. Like you get what this is about. So if they have been, they've had, they've been told they had to do kata, but their coach was unskilled or not quite where they needed to be, it's been a very unpleasant experience.

Tracy Defoe (50m 59s):
And the place where many, many coaches go wrong, lean consultant coaches or lean continuous improvement manager coaches is that they don't get the magic of figuring out where you are now and how this process or whatever is operating. How do you want it to operate? Not just what outcome do you want, right? But how do you want it to look like what's the cycle? How should it be? And so they confuse target condition, which Mike teaches in his practice guide with Target. Yeah. So they just nail a number on that side of the board. Ah, right. And I spoke to, I was second coaching a woman who had been in coach previously for most of a year by somebody.

Tracy Defoe (51m 41s):
And her coach made her pursue a target condition for months when it was clear she was never going to get there. And what you're supposed to do is hit the date, reflect on what you learned from not being able to get the target condition. Sure. And, and take a new feed on the mountain. Right. Just take a new path and by wanting, by kind of like whipping somebody to get the number, you're missing the whole point of the activity. That's one. The other one is I think a lot of people go wrong in scoping, like right at the beginning, scoping the challenge or figuring out like if, if I, no matter what my job is, I'm not, if I'm not c e o, I can't just run around and get everything, all the pieces, all the chess pieces on the board that will make this challenge work for the company.

Tracy Defoe (52m 28s):
You gotta be able to say, how do I operationalize this in my field of influence? Cuz you can't kata stuff you can't control.

Mark Graban (52m 37s):
Yeah. Hmm. So then I wanna ask one other question. Coming back to, you know, your role as a second coach and when someone's new to being a second coach, is there ever a role for a third coach? Yes. Who's observing the second coach? Yes. At first. And do you ever ask somebody to be your third coach just to check in on you or help tune up? Yes.

Tracy Defoe (52m 59s):
Yes. All of those. Yes. So if I have a chance to work with somebody and split the money, I will totally do that. It's really fun to have somebody second coach you. I did that with Hal Rok most of the pandemic and was really, really fun because he had been one of my coaches and then we started coaching together and I got to ask him questions or say, you know, Hey Hal, you didn't ask this or you shouldn't have stopped and told that story. And this, this year, Maria Greinke and I are planning on second coaching each other when we're, we're not being paid to second coach each other, we're supposed to coach, but we're gonna, we're gonna do the same thing. Both show up, take turns, split the money. It's also really great in a consulting role because then if you need to go skiing for a week or you get sick, the other person knows people and they can just jump right in.

Tracy Defoe (53m 46s):
And that's a real benefit, I think, on both sides. Sure. Beth Carrington, I don't know if I can mention another. Great. Yeah, that's a great woman in lead. Yeah, please do. Beth Carrington has produced a coaching card for second coaches, k u g. We have a coaching record for second coaches, like a, a reflection sheet. And I actually did a giant mind, mind dump that I call the learning tracker of a way to figure out what's going on with people at every level. Learners, coaches, second coaches. And it really, a lot of it comes down to how much support do you need? Like we want everyone to do a good job, right? Everyone to be in that learning zone, everyone to be having a good experience there.

Tracy Defoe (54m 29s):
The question is, how much support do you need from your coach? How much support do you need from your second coach? And sometimes in a problem situation, they will call in somebody else to help or observe just to see what's going on. One of my favorites, that's really quick to tell, I dunno how much time we have, but it's a fun one that your, your, your audience might enjoy. So we, so here in, in my part of British Columbia and maybe in the whole west, there's a lot of people who are kind of living in what my mom would've called a hippie-dippy kind of world. So they, the idea of science is really unusual to them. And we get, we come sometimes get lots of people who wanna learn things. They've heard about it from their friends.

Tracy Defoe (55m 9s):
So I had a call from a coach and a second coach who were stuck with a learner because the learner refused to predict what would happen as a result of her staff or experiment. Because do you wanna guess why?

Mark Graban (55m 23s):
Fear of being wrong?

Tracy Defoe (55m 25s):
No, no, no. Fear that they were manifesting it. That by saying it and writing it down would actually make it happen. That the forces of the universe would make this happen because they said it and wrote it down and they're like, I don't know if I can teach science to somebody who thinks that speaking words makes things happen. Yeah. So we got a, a third coach in, and we talked about, you know, we usually talk about what are we, what did we all agree to do? What are the roles? One of the roles is you've gotta try this. Yeah. So, yeah.

Mark Graban (56m 0s):
Well, you know, Tracy has been a lot of fun. There's so much more we we could talk about. Maybe

Tracy Defoe (56m 5s):
We can fear of being all powerful. You know, you asked about the emotional bit and I just wanna say that there are sometimes tears at the category, but they're often emotionally like, like moved. People are moved by what happens.

Mark Graban (56m 20s):
More of a release.

Tracy Defoe (56m 21s):
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I keep Kleenex close at hand. It happens. Yeah. Yeah.

Mark Graban (56m 27s):
Well we can, yeah, that's understandable. So well talk a little bit, you know, we, we, we could always, and maybe we, we can do an episode sometime with you and a couple, we can do a Kata Girl Geeks round table. That would

Tracy Defoe (56m 40s):
Be be so fun forum

Mark Graban (56m 42s):
Where, where can, oh, I can put a link in the show notes, but just in terms of web addresses, where, where's the best place to go find more information about Cat Girl Geeks?

Tracy Defoe (56m 52s):
Category Geeks has a placeholder website and you can certainly, okay, so if you identify as a woman, sweet. Cause we're not, we're not, not inclusive, but a lot of guys wanna join. But we think that there's something about the all female group that creates a safe learning environment and a nurturing one too. Al Geeks is probably easy to find on LinkedIn. We have a LinkedIn group and we have a webpage and it's just info at category Geeks. We'll get you right there. I'm one of the founders, so yeah, I'm an easy connection too. And same with Ca school, Cascadia, we are, there's not like 10 things named that, so it's pretty easy to find us. We're a org and my name, my, my mother was pretty straightforward with spelling, so there aren't too many people with Exactly Tracy without an e and Defo like Daniel Defo.

Tracy Defoe (57m 44s):
So pretty easy to find.

Mark Graban (57m 46s):
Okay. So instead of telling people the answers, people can go ask questions of Google.

Tracy Defoe (57m 51s):
Yes, sure. Yeah. I, I mean, you've got my contact info, I'm sure.

Mark Graban (57m 54s):
Yeah, yeah. I'll, I'll put links in the show notes. And then the second thing, maybe we, we can spend a couple of minutes on, wanna hear a little bit about, you mentioned Telo Schwartz earlier, the class that you're running with him. Tell us about that a little

Tracy Defoe (58m 7s):
Bit. So I met Tilo Schwarz a while ago at a, at, I don't know which Kata Con, it was the one in Atlanta, I think. I'm never good with the numbers. And it, we just chatted briefly and decided we had the same ultimate goal, which was that we think everybody would benefit from learning this kind of thinking. Like they get, you know, grounding less stress, that growth mindset. And so we kind of started talking about that. Telo is like a really fantastic master coach and he runs a course to, cuz he thinks that the bottleneck is always, coaches have good coaches, more coaches. So he's on a mission to create better coaches.

Tracy Defoe (58m 47s):
And the Masterclass is an online course we do only twice a year. It's, I think it's eight weeks and it's online. There's a, a lesson and then a practice. And how it works is that I run the practice. So Tilo runs the lesson, I run the practice. So I always say it's good cop, bad cop, I'm the good one. And, and the masterclass ti has exercises and things which are aimed at learning micro skills. So tiny little coaching skills that you can use when you need 'em. So you pr we get together and practice them. It's, it comes from what he calls the Coaching Dojo. And the Dojo is also a, a joke, a play on martial arts.

Tracy Defoe (59m 32s):
So that's a place like a gym where you go to learn and practice. This morning I had the fun, I was on a call for Kate School's International and Jeff Liker put in a plug for the coaching books that are coming out. So there's Tilo Schwarz and Jeff Liker have banded together and are writing a novel. So, you know, you mentioned,

Mark Graban (59m 53s):
Oh, it's like, it's like a graphic, it's a graphic novel even, isn't

Tracy Defoe (59m 56s):
It? No, no, this is a novel novel. Jeff is a graphic novel about Zingerman Mail order. Oh,

Mark Graban (1h 0m 2s):
Okay. My

Tracy Defoe (1h 0m 3s):
Mistake. Which he called a comic book, but yes. Yeah. And, and then this is an actual novel, if you've ever seen Tilo Schwarz as he goes by coaching Kata Dojo, but Tilo Schwarz's blog for a while he was blogging as if he was in the head of a coach. So it would be like, what were they thinking and what happened? And this was just the way he integrated the learning of these little skills into real life that has now been developed into a book. And Jeff Leer got on board for some of the writing of the story, and it's, it's gonna be out this year as a sort of like Andy and me, you know how

Mark Graban (1h 0m 42s):
Andy Pascal's

Tracy Defoe (1h 0m 43s):
Book? Yeah. Pascal Dennis's book takes the, what is the, what is it called? Something like Lean Explained or, oh, lean, lean Production Simplified is the, that's the like the tool

Mark Graban (1h 0m 57s):
Book. This textbook

Tracy Defoe (1h 0m 58s):
If you'll, yeah. Yeah. And then Andy and Me is like the, the novel where you can see how this works walking around with human relations. Yeah. So that's what they've done with this Coaching Dojo book.

Mark Graban (1h 1m 9s):
Okay, well, cool. Well, yeah, Pascal, I've done episodes with him. I, I'm pretty sure about Andy and me, and then he had a follow up Andy and me in the hospital.

Tracy Defoe (1h 1m 18s):
Oh yeah, yeah,

Mark Graban (1h 1m 19s):
Exactly. About bringing some of these ideas into healthcare. So I, I do inc I recommend Pascal's books a lot, so

Tracy Defoe (1h 1m 26s):
Me too. I used to use the, the lean production simplified to Andy and Me as textbooks when I taught lean.

Mark Graban (1h 1m 34s):
Yep. All right. Well we're, we're getting a lot of shoutouts to, to good people here today that we Yeah, that's fun. Learned and learned from and admire. So, hey Pascal and, and Heidi, the others we, we've mentioned where can people learn more about that masterclass? If they're interested in signing up? They can Google it, they can contact you.

Tracy Defoe (1h 1m 52s):
Oh yeah. Yeah. Let's see. That's a really good one. I think if you go to Kado Dojo, do kata hyphen dojo.com, the masterclass is one of the dropdowns I had to hesitate because te I, you know, I, I love Telo and he's fantastic, but I tease him about his English all the time cuz I'm an old English teacher and he always says Kata minus Dojo, like mathematical science. So I had to stop my head and not say that Kata-dojo.com masterclass in English or German is one of the dropdowns.

Mark Graban (1h 2m 26s):
Okay. Yeah. Well, good hope people will check that out. So again, we've been joined today, Tracy, this has been a lot of fun. Oh,

Tracy Defoe (1h 2m 32s):
It's really fun. Thank you.

Mark Graban (1h 2m 33s):
Tracy Defoe. You can find her website at the learning factor dot c ca and you know, I, I've, I've enjoyed, you know, the, the opportunities when we've been in group calls and the chances to talk with you in different ways. And I'm glad, glad to have you on the podcast here today.

Tracy Defoe (1h 2m 50s):
So thank you so much. Thank you. I look forward to seeing it and or reading it, hearing it, whatever. I look forward to it. Yeah. Thanks a lot. Thanks

Mark Graban (1h 2m 58s):

Tracy Defoe (1h 2m 58s):

Announcer (1h 2m 59s):
Thanks for listening. This has been the Lean Blog podcast. For lean news and commentary updated daily, visit www.leanblog.org. If you have any questions or comments about this podcast, email Mark leanpodcast@gmail.com.

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