Mar 14, 2007

Management By Standing Still

Managing by standing still?

One of the greatest practitioners of this was the Principal in my school.

He used to stand in one corner of the corridor, taping his cane lightly on the toe of his right foot.

The effect was a deadly silence. He made his presence felt.

Other than that I sincerely doubt whether he gained any deep insight into the functioning of the school or how good we were at learning.

But can you stand still ,see and learn?

Mike Wroblewski in his blog says "it takes a strong commitment to “stand still” at gemba and many may not feel comfortable to just stand and watch at first. This uneasy feeling quickly disappears the longer you stand still. It is amazing what you learn about your processes by seeing for yourself when standing still long enough."

This reminds me of Chuck Palahniuk who had this to say,“The best way to waste your life, ... is by taking notes. The easiest way to avoid living is to just watch. Look for the details. Report. Don't participate.”