Lean thinking sprung forth out of the Japanese automotive industry (specifically Toyota). War torn Japan had to make more with less and lean thinking was the answer.
One of my favorite phrases from lean methods is “gemba.” It means “the real place.” In lean terminology, “going to the gemba” means going to the place where the action happens – the shop floor, the call center, the engineer’s cubicle.
It is important for leaders to see problems with their own eyes. Going to the gemba ties back to empathy and design thinking beautifully. But just like all of these ideas, thoughts, principles, they can be applied to life.
Going to the gemba in your life means engaging with people – talking with your spouse about difficult things, going to your kid’s soccer game, walking along side a co-worker as he or she goes through something trying.
When you go to the gemba in life, you leave the “office” of your life and head down to the “shop floor.”
Go to the gemba.