Is it that they are impossible to resolve?
Or that your team is unable to resolve them?
Problem-solving and Critical Thinking are skills that can be learned.
These are some options open to you:
‘In a world of change, the learners shall inherit the earth.
Meanwhile, the experts find themselves perfectly suited to a world that doesn't exist.’
In recent years, Kaizen has become the edifice upon which all other approaches to manufacturing are built.
Many of us nailed our flags to the Continuous Improvement mast years ago.
However, applying Kaizen to current work conditions is a bit like polishing a car that won’t start.
It is not the fault of the concept. It works. Just not for what we want it to do.
Toyota, the benchmark for Kaizen, no longer uses it as a platform for driving growth.
Toyota - the organisation that crystallised the idea of Kaizen, no longer uses it as a platform for growth.
They still use it, of course.
But it’s not what differentiates the brand.
They promote the concept of KAKUSHIN.
And kakushin is all about innovation.
Instead of improving, it seeks to reform.
If Kaizen seeks better ways of making 2 + 2 = 4
Kakushin asks why 2 + 2 can’t equal orange.
"When your business is in a very difficult position financially there is no fat to be cut."
A drawback of the western approach to Kaizen is that it tends to be something we impose on the workforce.
However, when times are hard, morale is low and anxiety high, you can’t just Kaizen your way out of trouble.
Taiichi Ohno addressed this point when he said:
“Even if you try to go lean and cut out the fat to improve business performance - when your business is in a
very difficult position financially there is no fat to be cut. If you are cutting out muscle, which you need, then you cannot say that your efforts to become lean are succeeding.”
'Current circumstances require new thinking.'
The last few years has witnessed an increasingly grave issue that has only accelerated post-pandemic:
The disillusionment and widespread exodus of the lowest tier of the workforce.
No amount of 5S, Process Flow Analysis or Spaghetti Diagrams will stem that tide.
Current circumstances require new thinking. A learning mindset. It needs Problem Solvers and innovators.
My background is in Production.
I have managed Quality teams, Continuous Improvement teams, and led problem-solving projects through a multi-site business in the UK, France and Germany.
I have chased issues from the customer, back through the distributor to the assembly line and implemented corrective and preventive actions saving millions of pounds.
If you have a problem you need help with, or want to turn your business into a problem-solving organisation, click the link below to set up a free, 20 minute discovery call where we can discuss anything you like.