Value & Meetings, part 3

Part 3 of 3 in a blog series on value: An excerpt from Permission to Lead, book2 of The Dominant Gene series. Main character Joel, an IT director at Watzka Legacy, is talking with the CIO about changing his calendar to be value-based.

“An agile leader doesn’t stay in the office and make people come to them. They practice go & see, a lean leader principle. The agile leader serves teams by getting impediments out of the way, and making a trail for teams to find opportunities and innovation. In order to do this, leaders should go to where the work is, which is where value is added. This is called the gemba.”

“Ah,” Rick grins, “the gemba is the actual place where value is added.”

“Yes. You said it right, Rick.”

We talk a little more about practicing go & see, and then I show Rick my calendar just for this week. I encourage him to start small, experiment, and then learn from what happened. It’s much easier to do with a coach. Rick tells me he’s not sure he has time for a coach. I offer that he might have more time when he frees up his calendar.

I share with Rick that customer value and gemba are huge topics, and we are just scratching the surface. It’s better to begin practicing than to talk about it, and never go forward. I used some of his own words from the leader summit on him: this is a different way of working. Be bold, and be willing to make mistakes, because this is not easy.


Your challenge: research where your gemba is. You may have more than one. If you get stuck, please contact me and we’ll talk.

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