TWI - It's all about YOU!

Interesting day today...I delivered an "appreciation" session to a team where I presented the benefits of Job Instruction. In our world today, we tend to get hyper fixated on the need for mutual benefits and for good reason. When we work together as a team, we feel good about the results for all involved. That is a BIG deal.

TWI guys will inevitably break BIG things down into their smaller components. How about the notion of mutual benefits? Well, for starters, mutual benefits implies that  more than one person realizes a benefit. O.k., let's look at two people who are using Job Instruction: the leader and the team member.

I'll use the comments I received after the session. First, the leader explained that she was very excited about using JI because now she could see a way to get through to the person she was training. Her explanation was that the team member just wasn't getting it and this would help her, "get it". That sounds like a one-sided benefit. Where is the mutual benefit?

While the team member is most likely to "get it", actually the primary aim of practicing Job Instruction is to make the leader more capable. Capable of what, though? Could she think of any benefit that she might realize by practicing Job Instruction? This question prompted a different discussion, one that lead us to why TWI is a leadership development tool first, and a tool to help people get it - as a result of practicing the skill.

In this world of collective thinking, we cannot forget that groups of people are made up of unique individuals.  Put another way, you cannot have a group without individuals, so do you want your group full of undeveloped people? Who would you prefer develop those individuals? Undeveloped leaders? As much as we would like to do things for others, with no regard for ourselves, we cannot truly see mutual benefit until we have discovered ways to help ourselves first. This is an important concept of leadership that we cannot forget. The unique concept behind TWI J-skills is that they are all about YOU!

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Toyota Traditions Link

An oldie but goodie (2005), click the following link to read through Toyota Traditions. Little snippets of philosophy, quality, innovation, etc. that helps explain what the website claims is "The Origins of the Toyota Way."

Toyota Traditions


Job Instruction vs. Work Instructions - Part II

Several years ago, I posted an example of main differences between documentation methods used in Job Instruction and traditional Training programs. See: Job Instruction vs. Work Instructions

Over the years, I've continued to practice using Job Instruction and in doing so, I've been able to establish a basic, but adaptable, thinking pattern for myself that has proven to be quite useful. I used to think about What, How and Why as a matter of procedural thinking, but over time I have found that a better way to think is Why, How and What.

Why do I do this?

Asking yourself "why?" first helps you dig into the purpose of something. Asking yourself, "how will you do it?" - this gets to the heart of your effectiveness ad efficiency in testing your answer to "why?" And finally, asking "what is it we are doing?" - this helps describe and identify the tools and skills needed to implement the how and why. Make sense yet?

Here is why it makes sense to me:

Using a "traditional" work instruction blends all of the thinking together into one long document. Good work instructions do a good job of creating header information to help people walk through the structure, but people don't use header information to perform their jobs. What they really need to know is in the body of the document. In order to think critically, one has to be able to stratify and sort things out in their mind; this is hard to do by processing several pages of writing and photos. The extension of a work instruction is a reference book, in fact, many benefits claimed by proponents of work instructions is that they serve as a reference and even can be used to, "train somebody off the street." Any engineer that has a Machinery's Handbook or Mark's Standard on their reference bookshelf uses them for just that, as a reference. But a reference is not an effective training aid. And this is why Job Breakdown Sheets are superior to Work Instructions. Short, concise, clearly organized training aids that if used with the four step instruction method - nearly guarantee great results.

Here is how you can begin to use Job Instruction and Job Breakdown Sheets:

If you are in an organization that "already has a training program", you may face an uphill, endless battle trying to replace work instructions with job breakdown sheets. Here is a different approach for you to consider, use JI to solve problems that involve people - after all, that is the intent of the program! When you face a problem, break down the process using a JBS. It will begin to help you see problems in the process and will help you standardize the current state. You may also find that the team will begin to see the advantages of using JI over their current training standards.

Here is what you are doing with this approach:

By using JI in this manner, you will find that your improvement efforts will be more likely to succeed when involving other people in an organic, grassroots manner. This is a different philosophy than rolling out TWI to everybody in the organization only for it to meet a wall of resistance and resentment.

Mark Warren and I will be presenting more about this at the TWI Summit in Savannah, GA this May. Use TWI Blog code "LUND" at get 10% off at registration!

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TWI Blog Changes

New layout for the TWI Blog, all the content has remained unchanged. Some features have been disabled, but essentially, the site is now better integrated with 2013 social media platforms, like Google+

It's been a while since I've been posting, but hope to get back into the groove, especially with the TWI Summit coming up in mid May.

Please provide feedback in the comments section!

Sincerity vs. Manipulation

Getting ready for the 2013 TWI Summit this year in Savannah, Georgia...part of my prep is to review some of the books on my top shelf. One of them was pretty obscure up until a year or so ago: The Amazing Oversight. It took me about a year to find it when I was reading up on the descendant of Job Methods, Work Simplification, which was popularized by the likes of Allan Mogenson, Ben Graham and Lillian Gilbreth.

It was very exciting to discover that TWI never died, but took on new forms in the U.S and subsequently discovered an entire new group of writers out there taking leadership to another level.

In this collection of articles about how leadership often overlooks the need to truly involve people, I particularly liked the article, "Improvement Must be Managed" by Herbert Goodwin. In it, Goodwin lays out themes and principles of good improvement programs. There are also some pointers on things to stay away from. Here is my favorite passage:

"A sure way to lose respect is to try to manipulate people into thinking our idea is theirs. The 'tell them' approach of the authoritarian is held in low regard, but the insincerity of the manipulator who tries to 'sell' his own ideas by subterfuge rarely meets with anything by stiffening resistance. None of us likes to be 'taken in' or treated as a fool, and we resent those who try."

How many times have you heard, or have encouraged somebody to do exactly what is described above? I am guilty. Goodwin continues:

"People do not resist change as much as they do the methods of change. Actually, it can be shown with a high degree of certainty that most of us like to change and we are particularly enthusiastic about changing when we are involved in developing the innovation. We must remember that the inference of all change is criticism of things as they are and none of us likes criticism, be it constructive or otherwise. On the other hand, if everyone associated with a given activity is involved in the efforts to improve it and the managerial leader sincerely recognizes that his people can and do have ideas to contribute to the total effort, the negative aspects of the implied criticism disappear within the positive satisfiers of recognition through involvement."

How many times have you seen people embrace a real problem, come up with their own idea, put it into action and it actually stuck? When I adopted the sincerity vs. manipulation philosophy, I saw this occur more often.

This is not to be confused with somebody stealing your idea, or materials, and passing them off as their own. Although most people would encourage to share ideas with other people, there usually is a mutual benefit in doing so: stealing is the last thing that comes to mind when both parties win. For example, I made available to the public the original property of U.S. Taxpayers, the TWI materials, for people to learn from. There is a mutual benefit in doing this; some have downloaded, used the materials and shared what they learned. We both learn from this experience. Others have simply downloaded the materials and passed them off as their own. That's fine too, they are public domain materials after all - but there is no mutual benefit, which is unfortunate - this win/lose behavior doesn't maximize every person's potential to be the best they can be.

The future of TWI will be one where people collaborate in a sincere way, helping each other, bringing mutual benefit to those involved.  Some would tell you that "mutual benefit" is the real meaning of kaizen which is what I hope to contribute to and share in at the TWI Summit.

TWI Blog Promotion for TWI Summit

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