Stand in this circle

I wanted to share this story I came across during my study of Toyota manufacturing techniques.

Taiichi Ohno would take his pupils to the shop floor, draw a circle on the shop floor and then have them stand in the circle. He would then leave and come back in couple of hours and ask the student what they had observed. If he wasn’t satisfied with the student’s response, he would leave again and have them repeat the two hours.


This story speaks to the importance of observing with your own eyes and being connected with the place where the actions happens (see Go to the gemba).

Think about what Ohno and his team could observe standing in the circle that they would have never seen in their offices.

I continue to love the lean way of thinking.