Do We Need Another Share in the See, Solve, Share Model of Continuous Improvement?


I love Steve Spear‘s emphasis on a Toyota-based Lean model of:

“See, Solve, Share”

See problems, solve problems, and share what worked as countermeasures. That's the ideal, and it's powerful where it exists.

At Toyota, and companies like it, there's an understanding that speaking up about problems leads to a constructive response from leaders. 

That's not always true at other companies that are starting or attempting their “Lean Journey.”

The Psychological Safety that might be taken for granted at Toyota must be actively cultivated in a company before continuous improvement can really take root, let alone take off.

I think the model could also be stated as:

“See, Share, Solve, Share”

Because we cannot solve a problem that isn't shared.

Often, the assumption seems to be, “We need to help employees see problems and waste.”

Oh, they see the problems. Or at least most of them.

I think the necessary starting point needs to be, “We need to help employees feel safe to speak up and share problems.”

Or we could say:

“See, Speak Up, Solve, Share.”

What are your thoughts and experiences related to this? Please post a comment below or join the LinkedIn discussion on this topic.

Maria Mentzer, who works with Spear, wrote:

“I love the added share/speak up after see! It appropriately emphasizes the power of a collective see-solve-share learning & improvement dynamic depends on collectively seeing problems. Collectively seeing can only be realized if people share what they see, which requires an environment that appreciates such sharing and management systems that helps make the sharing easier across the organization. None of that will happen until people are treated in such a way that it is safe, encouraged, and even celebrated to be raising ones hand when one don't have the answer. Rather than, like most of us are trained to do from an early age, raising our hands only when we have the answer.”

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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.


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