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Managers at Gemba

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  • #52604

    Assad Mirza
    Participant

    Do you believe that today’s manager is less involved at Gemba?

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    #185179

    Mikel
    Member

    I think they are less compelled to use stupid Japanese words if they
    speak English as a first language.

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    #185220

    Assad Mirza
    Participant

    So according to you over 99% of this world’s population is stupid.   “arrogance with ignorance”

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    #185225

    Mikel
    Member

    You asked –
    “Do you believe that today’s manager is less involved at Gemba?”I answered –
    “I think they are less compelled to use stupid Japanese words if
    they speak English as a first language.I believe this is a accurate answer, to which you responded –
    “So according to you over 99% of this world’s population is stupid.
    “arrogance with ignorance”I never said anything about 99% of the world’s population. Learn to
    comprehend the words before making inflammatory responses.
    “ignorance is just ignorance”

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    #185228

    Dallas
    Participant

    Now Now boys, let’s not get yourselves all worked up over such petty things.

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    #185230

    TJ
    Member

    I agree with Stan.
    If I used such words to my operational management team they would tell me to leave.
    I wouldn’t call the words stupid, just inappropriate for most English speaking businesses!
    I also realise that this wasn’t the point of your original post, but thought I’d write something anyway.

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    #185231

    Teller
    Member

    I also agree with Stan – even Japanese engineers avoid this term in Europe – they use the term factory.

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    #185237

    White
    Participant

    hhmmm….is this why we continually fail to learn anything from anybody who is different from us?

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    #185238

    Robert S
    Member

    For all of you who have contributed to this post I just want to say one thing… gracias.

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    #185239

    Mikel
    Member

    Learn – yes. Use language that sounds cult like – no.My point to the original poster was his question will turn most off,
    but it doesn’t mean there aren’t loads of managers who know to go
    to where the work is performed – now and before some dufus
    started thinking we had to call something Gemba.If I worked for a Japanese company – no problem. But I don’t and
    I’ve known for years to go to the place where work is performed
    and to treat those who do value-added work with respect. This
    knowledge is not unique to Japanese companies.

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    #185244

    BTDT
    Participant

    Robert S.:I have a sticky on my screen for my latest motto, “Solvitor ambulando”, to use the Latin gerund. Arrogant? Moi?Cheers, Alastair

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    #185245

    Kluttz
    Member

    I’m not really sure I follow your logic.  I don’t think anyone here is disputing the value of managers having visibility to the production environment.  And the concept of gemba isn’t even specific to one country or culture.  MBWA is another term for almost the same thing.  What people here are disputing is the use of colloquialisms for the sake of using colloquialisms.  The same principle would apply to mizusumashi – I like the concept, but I would never ever ever use the term in my current corporate culture.  That doesn’t make me xenophobic. 
     

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    #185246

    TREW
    Member

    Do you mean the company Gemba or the term?

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    #185247

    Zack
    Member

    If anyone has noticed that since isixsigma has been back the number of daily posts has diminished quite a bit.  I wonder if Stan’s bitting remarks has anything to do with  that?  Like I have been taught if you can’t say something nice or constructive sometimes it’s better to just say nothing at all.  If I were Stan’s boss we would have corrective action sessions on how to be more professional and to make this website more professional.

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    #185252

    Mikel
    Member

    Zack honey,Notice that most responses agree with me?Although I would not work for a person like you, tell me what
    corrective action you think you would take?

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    #185255

    Jered Horn
    Participant

    No.

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    #185257

    BTDT
    Participant

    Zack:I have data going back a long way on the number of posts per day to the forum. The idea was to construct a case study to show how to identify a non-normal mean shift in data with seasonality and how the iSixSigma traffic related to the timing of the Google virus warning. The applications could include call centre volume, order processing, manufacturing with weekend crews, etc.I have the 1012 data points from April 27 to June 11. Generally, the forum posting traffic shows a weekly pattern with a dip on Tuesday/Wednesday and only minor activity on the weekend. The mean shift following the virus warning is unmistakable and occurred on or about May 22.The control chart, then, has control limits for each day calculated using the historical data with the seven day seasonality.Since the site has come back up, I have not downloaded the stats for postings to see when the process gets back to ‘normal’.Cheers, AlastairP.S. – I suppose I could potentially investigate a ‘Stan’ effect.

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    #185259

    Mikel
    Member

    Zack,Great insight and even better data analysis. You BB skills seem
    to be honed to perfection. Could you give an example of your “corrective action” if you
    were my boss?

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    #185260

    Robert S
    Member

    Electric shock therapy over an extended period is likely the only effective program.
    Or, the Cuckoo Nest treatment if the shock fails.

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    #185267

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    1. What I believe is (nearly) irrelevent – what does the data show?
    2. Different companies will have different cultures, so no sweeping statements like this would have universality across companies.
    3. Different managers in the same company behave differently, so, again, no sweeping statements like this have universality within a company.
    4. Why do you ask?  Are you postulating an hypothesis and seeking data to evaluate?
    In my humble opinion, too few managers are really involved in the day-to-day operations which they manage, nor (if they are in product development) do they truly “live the life” of the customer to really understand the customer’s needs.  Of course, this is just my opinion based on over 20 years of observation.

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    #185268

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    “Stan effect”  –  that’s a good one!

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    #185270

    Severino
    Participant

    You fail at is – is not analysis since Stan issuance of “biting remarks” has not changed in the years I’ve been reading this forum.  The virus, latency issues, and the current economic conditions are all much more likely factors. 
    Quite frankly, Stan’s remarks are one of the few reasons I even visit this site at all…

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    #185274

    Mikel
    Member

    The biggest hole in this guys hypothesis is that managers ever did
    spend time at whatever that stupid word is.Hard to spend less time if they never did.Kind of like saying I’m not going to drink any more when you have
    a hangover – hard to do more when you maxed out the night
    before.I can see the managers now – “I’m going to spend less time at
    Gemba. No wait, I never did spend time at Gemba because I’m
    always in these stupid meetings. What the hell is a Gemba anyway?

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    #185275

    Mikel
    Member

    Stan effect is a good, no great, one – always driven postings and
    drawn out the weak kneed pretenders. Set them up, knock them
    down – like stealing candy from a baby.

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    #185283

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    I agree that Stan or some of his more biting and cynical associates are not the cause of the significant reduction in postings. Stan has been around a long time and, as in the past, has been a source of controversy, knowledge and entertainment. I believe the reduction in posting has been a result of a previously overzealous Webbie (Carnell has quit posting because of some unwarranted deletions), the virus as mentioned, the mediocre site loading performance, continuing technical problems (despite the current Webbie’s valiant attempts) and frankly, some pretty boring posts. The former group of frequent posters are still out there and, like myself, anxious to start banging away and sharing experience and knowledge, but just don’t feel the excitement and social aspects as before. A few of us made specific proposals to Old Mike to upgrade and enhance the site but he left and took the ideas with him. After that, it wasn’t the same. IMHO

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    #185285

    Jered Horn
    Participant

    So, Darth…Are you saying that the New “Mike” and/or the current
    Webbie should spend some time at Gemba?

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    #185286

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    It is an interesting business dilemma. Mike C was the founder, owner and it was his baby. He sold out to a larger media company. While some of the old folks are still there, I don’t sense the same passion although I understand some family remains. Katie has been very responsive to problems. More so than anyone in the past. But they don’t seem to be generating the same enthusiasm and thus volume that they did before. They definitely need to resolve the issue. But, maybe this is just my feelings and don’t reflect the general Forum population. Then again, they aren’t posting much anymore so how will we know?

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    #185288

    Jered Horn
    Participant

    I’m sure your observations are dead on, Darth. I
    have been away from the forum for awhile and am VERY
    sorry to hear that Mike C. is no longer
    contributing. I also noticed Gary C. is no longer a
    blog contributer. I have a lot of respect for those
    guys…as I am a product of the old Six Sigma
    Consultants, Inc. I will never forget those guys
    (along with another MBB named Greg B…). Mike’s
    light saber mouse pointer…Gary quoting BHH
    complete with the page numbers…a video of Greg
    salivating over Mikel Harry…oh, sorry about that
    stroll down memory lane.Anyway, they’ll be missed here.

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    #185290

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Some fond memories indeed, thanks for sharing. Of course, look on the bright side, we still have Stan!!!!

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    #185291

    Stevo
    Member

    Ok. Ok.  Let’s not get to excited here.  We can’t just go around and change how I justify my enormous salary.  Using terms like Gemba and Muda is how I distance myself from the “little people”.  It’s much easier to give the elusion of talent then proving it by results.
     
    Stevo
     
    BTW – I am the reason that the traffic is down, people used to log on to see “Stevo’s question of the day” and some of my other “on the day” series.  I’ve just become lazy.  Sorry, my bad.

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    #185295

    Robert S
    Member

    Darth, I agree with your synopsis of the recent changes impacting the forum yet would add that fewer people now have the time to “play” here. These are extremely challenging times requiring most people to move near total mind share to accomplishing their work.
    As with Chad Vader, newly unemployed… he likely won’t be chatting it up here so much for a while.
    Hopefully we can all survive this economic crash then return to the jovial days for the past.

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    #185314

    Gary C
    Participant

    Don’t forget Greg’s lipstick and the advice on the shopsmith of
    stat tools

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    #185315

    Katie Barry
    Participant

    Hi Darth,
    Upgrades and enhancements are just around the corner! We’re in the process of redesigning iSixSigma and will launch a new and improved website January 1.
    We’ve had a lot of feedback from the audience that the whole team has collected over time that is being fed into, and influencing, each step of the redesign process.
    Anytime you – or anyone! – wants to give us suggestions directly, we’re here to listen. You can send me an email or give me a call. The iSixSigma team is here and ready to assist.
    Katie
    Katie BarryAssociate Publisher, iSixSigmakatie (dot) barry (at) ctqmedia (dot) com206.319.7066

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    #185316

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Looking forward to it. Thanks for the heads up.

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    #185317

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    “Greg’s lipstick”??? Next thing you know and Greg will be on SoBe with Stan wearing a small thong and hanging out with the Boys.

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    #185318

    Mikel
    Member

    Careful what you admit to here. There’s some guy named Zack who
    wants to take corrective action. Said something about taking me to
    the woodshed or the like.

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    #185330

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Wait until he finds out that you enjoy a little spanking now and then.

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    #185343

    Taylor
    Participant

    Robert
    Not Unemployed, very much employed. Not sure how you came to that conclusion. As for me being away, I have been traveling and will continue to do so for the next few months as my company begins operation of two new facilities. As part of the start up team my time is much more limited these days….

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    #185345

    GB
    Participant

    Oh Lordy, Darth…Hey Stevo, Stan and Darth, it’s good to see you posting again. All we are missing is Mike and Mike.I’m on vacation next week (Think ocean breezes and a trip up to Disneyland w/ the kiddos), but may be checking in now and again. I hope you all are weathering the storm.

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    #185346

    GB
    Participant

    Katie,
    Thanks for the info. I am looking fwd to the new feel and look. Hopefully it’ll have a registration/sign in process to cut down on the pretenders and such.

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    #185348

    Robert S
    Member

    Got that impression from your Whirpool post; however you must have been there in a contractual role not an employee role. Sorry for the misinterpretation.

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    #185349

    Robert S
    Member

    And how will a “registration/sign in” process cut down on the “pretenders and such”?

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    #185352

    Taylor
    Participant

    Robert
    Nope was not there in any capacity. My company is in the final phases of construction for a 88mm gallon per year ethanol plant in Evansville, and I was simply in town the day Whirlpool made the announcement. Having first hand knowledge of two other plants in Arkansas closing in the same town, I know how hard it can be for a community. Whirlpool employee’s about 10% of Evansville population, over 300 of those where salary employee’s. I never did respond to a couple of other post because I failed to see the responses as meaningful. As Stan put it for example: the days of comfort without a college degree for many are over, or something like that. WTF, what does that say for the 25% of the Whirlpool workforce that have a college degree, just pick up and adapt??? Where? To the next plant that is moving out of country? I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t cut it for me. I understand the economics of the decision, probably better than most as I have a minor in accounting, and I also know that for most companies, salarie are budget dust in the grand scheme of operation, so how much will they gain by moving to Mexico? I don’t know. This is what I do know, if this trend continues, not only will our economic future become even less stable, but our children will not be able to afford to go to college. The student loan process will be next on the hit list of bail outs should we continue to send our jobs off to other countries.
    OK, enough on that rant, Its past 5 Oclock somewhere.

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    #185353

    Robert S
    Member

    It isn’t pretty Chad… and when combined with Obama’s “spend til you drop” approach there are some very trying times ahead.
    However, the only solution that has ever existed for capitalism is to create value. Create value or move aside. Anything else is some form of socialism; which has proven to a worse approach than capitalism – at least do far.
    I’ve been in numerous industries as opportunities presented themselves or I found them. Never had a particular career plan but always adapted. Many will have to do that.

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    #185354

    GB
    Participant

    Robert,
    On most sign-in governed boards, a user must register a User name and submit. The Forum architecture allows only one user to use a given name. Once taken, “Pretenders” can no longer post falsly under other’s names.
    It’s part of that new-fangled interwebs thing…

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    #185357

    Robert S
    Member

    I’m all for it. Those are the rules on Lean.org and the firum has much more decorum. But you, Stan, Darth, Chad et al will have to come out of the closet.

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    #185367

    MrMHead
    Participant

    Stevo is correct
    Days of mindless merriment
    Have become quite sparse

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    #185369

    Robert S
    Member

    Hang in there MrM, Stan will be back for the “mindless” and Stevo is now returning for the “merriment”.

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    #185396

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Hee bee,
    I am still around. I assume since you are on holidays that the back is feeling better? I can’t imagine doing Disneyland and being in pain (at least more pain) at the same time. Cool ocean breezes works.
    Hey after Stan’s first remark I didn’t see any reason to have another post. Anyone one that is trying to get managements cooperation and them speaks to them like that? It is people like that that alienate the management. The point is communication, not trying to impress someone that you are “multicultural” because you sprinkle a few Japanese words around. Probably the same guy that used to use the phrase “white spaces” in every other sentence in the 90’s.
    That other person that made the ignorant comment about learning from other people. You can learn stuff from other people but if you intend to communicate clearly what you learned speak to them in a way that they understand. What a stupid remark.
    Just my opinion.
    Have a great holidays Heebee.
     

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    #185399

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Hey Mike, Great to see you back.  I figured your lack of participation was due to the usual slow response time on the site :-).   Will call you next week to catch up.  Any day better for you?

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    #185408

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Darth,
    I got a little busy for a while but things are settling down some. Mostly just working on a new book with some friends. I forgot what a pain it is to write one.
    Call any time. It is always good to hear from you.
    Regards

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    #185412

    Lee
    Participant

    Traffic count is a lousy indicator to use.    If you must use a traffic count, then at least remove the threads, like this one, that are 75+% non-Sigma related.

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    #185416

    Jered Horn
    Participant

    Traffic count HAS to be a KPIV if “use” is the
    output. Do you have data to dispute my hypothesis?
    Perhaps a 2 Sample T-Test, ANOVA, Regression or
    correlation analysis, or even a DOE.And a discussion of spending time on the production
    floor is TOTALLY related to Six Sigma and Lean
    Manufacturing.A lot of us have Deming as a hero. And anytime
    people show prejudice against Japanese philosophies
    (or terms, in this case), it is a relevant
    discussion.My opinion, anyway.

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    #185417

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    HornJM,
    In general I agree with what you have said.
    I do not agree that using terms like Muda and Gemba do anything for a conversation in anyplace where Japanese is not a first language. Hasn’t got a thing to do with prejudice. It has to do with communication. It has to do with the clarity of your communication and to use your phrase:
    “Traffic count HAS to be a KPIV if “use” is the output.”
    then:
    “Clarity HAS to be a KPIV if “communication” is the output.
    It is pretty much the same as it has always been when you run into someone that spends most of their time trying to fit in the buzz words then you need to really push and find out if you have someone that has a ckue what they are talking about. I find it personally irritating to have someone throw those words at me in a conversation without at least having the courtesy to ask me if I am familiar with them.
    Just my opinion.

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    #185418

    Lee
    Participant

    Sorry, I missed your extensive analysis of this sites use.  Where it it posted?  I did not say a discussion of Gemba was not relevant, what I did suggest was that not all postings in a tread are related to 6 sigma.  Simply countng postings is not a good indicator of the apparent intended use of a site.
     

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    #185424

    Jered Horn
    Participant

    I think it has something to do with prejudice. At
    least I detect a hint of it in some of the posts in
    this thread. I could be wrong, so PLEASE don’t be
    offended, anybody.Of course. Clarity is key when it comes to
    communication. That’s why, if you use a term like
    “gemba”, it should be defined (and made clear)
    initially. For the sake of simple efficiency, it is
    a good term to use, and often, for Six Sigma and
    Lean practicioners.Maybe it’s just me. And that I’ve had the
    experience of being trained in Japan and heard
    “Let’s go to gemba” by someone that could hardly
    speak English EVERY time something important came up
    and they didn’t want us to just hear or read a
    concept…we had to see it, touch it, smell it.Just my opinion.

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    #185427

    Robert S
    Member

    Mike, I totally agree wtih you. Much like the routines of Dennis Miller where he throws out names “…like Thomas Denigal on a Saturday night after the opera.” and we all laugh because, while we have no idea what he’s talking about, we’re afraid to show it to all the others who have no idea what he’s talking about either but are laughing too.
    Thus, no true communication takes place. And, I for one, never go to one of his shows again.

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    #185428

    Jered Horn
    Participant

    I din’t intend to slam what you said, Eugene. I was
    just trying to add a little Six Sigma relevancy to
    the discussion. I don’t have any data, myself. I
    was hoping you would provide that.I won’t dispute your “postings counting” assertion.I will say, though, that I believe there is value in
    a lot of the “off topic” posts. And I would not
    visit a discussion forum that banned or discouraged
    them. I’ve got plenty of books in my Six Sigma
    library for that.Peace.

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    #185434

    Stevo
    Member

    Eugene,
     
    My posts are usually either sarcastic or require the reader to make an interpretation of the post and has everything to do with six sigma, we work in a much broader space than most people think.
     
    My genius will show itself in good time (usually after 5 drinks).
     
    Your new best friend, – Stevo

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    #185441

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Sorry Stevo.  After your last few posts, the Coherence Coefficient Threshhold has been increased to 6 drinks.

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    #185446

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    HornJM,
    I worked with a woman named Barbara Wheat (we also wrote a book together). Barbara was trained by the Japanese as well but you could tell when she spoke that it was a natural part of her vocabulary. I don’t remember her ever taking it for granted that people understood the terms and have seen her define them for people on several occasions.
    I also remember doing a presentation in 1997 for a group of people on Six Sigma. By that time we had done Allied and GE and the TLA’s were just rolling off my tongue. I have the manager say to me when I was finished that nobody in the room understood anything I said.
    Regardless of what you think you detect this is about clarity of communication whether it is using Japanese terms of SS TLA’s. The most efficient communication is the same as the clearest communication. If Gemba is a concept you want to convey and you use the word and nobody has a clue what you are talking about or if you use English and spend some time explaining the concept and people understand – in the long term the English explanation would be the most efficient.
    Just my opinion.

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    #185447

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    I miss a lot of Dennis Miller’s humor as well but still go to his performances when I get a chance, basically because there is the occasional reference that is so original you have to wonder about the mind that created it. After driving in California I heard him make a refereance to “the traffic on the 405 making Strom Thurmonds urethra look like Splash Mountain.” That is an odd thought process that comes up with that and I understood part of it and had a rough idea about the other part.

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    #185448

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Stevo,
    That post is way to humble for you. There is a lot of truth in your statement:
    Using terms like Gemba and Muda is how I distance myself from the “little people”.  It’s much easier to give the elusion of talent then proving it by results.
    That comment takes us back to the comment about style over substance. It is similar to a SS consultant that when backed into a corner can use the words “sum of squares” more times than you can imagine in a single sentence to create a little smoke while they scoot out the back door.
    As far as using the site for what it was intended for? As much as we all like Mike Cyger I am not sure that what Mike intended has ever come into play in terms of what gets posted. I have never thought twice about it and I am sure if Mike objected he would have let me know 5 or 6 years ago and he might have mentioned something to Stan as well. I am pretty sure at this point he could care less what he intended because it has been one of the more successful sites.
    I do have data because of an issue we had with a Moderator. The average number of posts on the Discussion Forum was around 42 per day. If you try to impose your personnal values through censorship you can show it drop off to around 27 in about 2 weeks. The sister sites to the Main site were at about 1.2 posts per day and other sites (not part of the iSS family) run about 1 post per day on the average. Since the site has come back I haven’t done any calculations (I had the std dev as well but don’t have the data with me) but I would guess that Stevo may be correct that it is off some. Correlation with Stevo’s absence is probably conjecture. Can’t prove that it is or isn’t so you are as justified in your claim as anyone else is with their claim.
    Stevo – Most don’t care if your posts are completely related to SS. You are one of those characters that makes the site what it is. And if you are somewhat Dennis Millerian and we don’t get the sarcasm it’s ok because there is generally humor in there somewhere.
    Can you imagine a site that never deviated from the subject of SS. That would be a sleeper. No offense meant Andy.
    Just my opinion.

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    #185456

    Kluttz
    Member

    Whoah.  Are you really saying that Deming spins in his grave everytime someone uses the english equivalent of a Japanese term? 
    I’m not sure I follow your logic or agree with your interpretation of his philosophies.  Personally, I think that Deming would have no problem shedding terms in any language if he thought they were getting in the way of continuous improvement.  I would imagine that he would speak Swahili if it meant fostering a culture of omprovement within an organization.  His 9th Point was about breaking down barriers between departments within an organization.  And in my experience, the use of nebulous LSS terms (Japanese & otherwise) with non-LSS audiences can actually creat barriers and impede cross-functional cooperation.  Then there’s Point 10 – something about eliminating slogans and exhotations.  Sound familiar?
    Deming was about creating constancy of purpose for improvement to maintain competitiveness.  I’ve never read a single word of his that mandated a certain vocabulary. 

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    #185457

    Jered Horn
    Participant

    UCS,That wasn’t my point…but, whatever.I have to admit…I recently worked for a company
    that had Japanese roots and the term “gemba” and
    several other Japanese terms were widely used and
    understood. I work for a company now where that
    isn’t the case. So, your point is well taken.
    Considering your audience is always important when
    delivering a message.

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    #185467

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    UCS,
    Very nice post. I like the logic.
    Regards

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    #185492

    GB
    Participant

    The back is still hurting, but manageable. (good meds and serious Qi-Gong massage/adjustments)The break was sorely needed to get my senses in order…you know? ;-)Anyway, Hope you all are prospering.

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