What is Gemba Management?

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A Client once asked me why he needed to leave his office to go to the workplace to carry out this ‘Gemba thing’. After a little persuasion, the client, (Who was quite new to his role as a senior Manager at one of the major banks) reluctantly went and spent a half day in amongst his teams in the ‘Gemba’. When he returned, he requested we have a short debriefing session and he was nothing short of enthused about how much he’d been able to learn about his operation, it’s strengths and weaknesses and the people who worked for him. My favourite quote was “I’ve learned more in the last 3 ½ hours about this operation than in the previous 4 weeks so called ‘Management Meetings’.


‘Gemba’ management is a style of management based on high visibility at the Gemba (the place where value is added), and the active promotion and use of Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques in day to day tasks.


An Organisation is a shadow of it’s leader

If you demonstrate belief in the new working methodologies, those you lead will see this as an acceptable behaviour and attempt to emulate this behaviour. However, if you simply pay ‘Lip service’ to the change initiative – Guess what those who work for you will do?

Your staff may not always do as you ask, but they will Always attempt to do as you do!

What kind of shadow will you cast?




Paul Swift

Beyondlean Ltd.

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