Stephanie BySouth | Kaizen Camp Melbourne 2013 – Discussing the future of work – Kaikaku
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Kaizen Camp Melbourne 2013 – Discussing the future of work – Kaikaku

Kaizen Camp™ Melbourne 2013 is an unconference that focuses on shared learning and peer teaching to build valuable discussions and insight from Lean principles, lean practices, agile values, agile principles, agile methodologies, systems thinking practices, problem solving, business leadership, theory of constraints and of course lean manufacturing.

In this Kaizen Camp Melbourne blog seriesI’ve captured a few of the Lean Coffee sessions in my visually creative note taking style for you. My learning style is to capture insights, draw the story that’s playing out in front of me, and sometimes I just doodle while discussing because it actually helps me to remember and actively process the information.
Kaikaku – radical change in limited time of a production system
The Kaikaku session was one of the most fascinating because there was quite a lot of debate around when is it OK to create’Kaikaku’ also known as ‘Kaizen blitz’. That is, when is it ok for change agents to create disruption that forces dramatic change in a work place? The consensus seemed to be when the result of the disruption is beneficial. If it’s not a good outcome than it’s just another ‘unnecessary forced and poorly thought out change management program’.

This is all in contrast to the majority of conversations about Kaizen – incremental change that creates benefits sequentially step by step. Jim Benson – author of the book Personal Kanban – joined the conversation and gave a good example of searching for benefit to know when and what a good radical change is…’On a recent lean hospital kanban engagement with hospital clients the team were looking to understand why there are so many ‘deadly bug’ infections – staph – continuously being spread throughout the wards regardless of recent protective measures. (the protective measures were doctors wearing badges that said “ask me if i’ve washed my hands today?” – I kid you not!!)
The lean team discovered that the orderlies NEVER got infected unlike the majority of nurses and doctors, so they asked the orderlies ‘why don’t you get infected’? The orderlies said they only ever served the infected patients last.

Yes, that simple they served them last so as not to spread the infection back to other patients and that way they could essentially unwrap themselves from their protective gear and eliminate the gear; therefore, effectively eliminating any possibility to spread the infection to other patients.

Brilliant and so simple!!! I know, I laughed too at the obviousness of it. None the less the point of Jim Bensons story was when you are looking for ‘what to change’ look at who / what is successful or the abnormal in the world of normal and replicate it.

Having discussed all that this lean coffee group enjoyed hearing about the Vanto group who have created a successful business around ‘kaikaku’ and intentional kaizen blitz.

Kaikaku - radical change in limited time of a production system

Photo and stories from Kaizen Camp: Melbourne 2013 – discussing the future of work is available at http://kaizencamp.com/wordpress/