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  • Writer's pictureAlessandro Lasi

September 2021 - Trapped in a Remote Gemba


One of the latest F2F workshop in Budapest before pandemic, Jan 2020

September 2021 / you’re seasoned enough to have had the indisputable proof of the Power of Gemba. Nothing is comparable to getting your hands dirty, boots on the field, talking to people, winning their hearts and minds. Smelling, hearing, watching. Nothing is comparable when it comes to grasping a problem, a process, an opportunity, or just building (or rebuilding) some genuine human trust. Or, most importantly - to coach people.


AND COVID-19 CAME…

September 2021 / maybe you didn’t get travel approval to go facilitate a strategic event on a water pumps manufacturing plant in Wisconsin. However, Zoom is your best friend in running workshops, and come on…you can handle those virtual post-its on Klaxoon like nobody else out there!!…and those Virtual Walks, are just good, but… but…but…


You still miss something…2 truths 1 lie icebreakers with people, team dinner at the docks at the end of day 2, a long-sipped coffee at 07:00 pm on the 2nd of Jan with your project sponsor at a plant in Sweden, or even those magic ah-ah moments with a team. You can almost do everything in front of a screen. Or maybe not?



NEED FOR…PEOPLE!

September 2021 / I landed a new global role ten months ago, and I haven’t ever physically met several key people yet. Some new stakeholders, hundreds of Gembas scattered all across the globe...


I’ve been leveraging those relationships built in the past years, and even started building new ones. And then I crashed hard on the reality: building genuine, mutual human trust in front of a screen doesn’t just work as effectively (or as fast) as needed.


TURBOCHARGE YOUR RELATIONSHIP

<I admit, I stole this from a leader, one of those great ones (Amanda, maybe you will come thru these pages, sooner or later)>


Who vets your travel? I hope you’re lucky enough to work for such a person; corporate travel bans might be overcome from time to time (overcoming the Safety rule isn’t an option, though).


So, next time you need to start any initiative on a physically distant Gemba, think about how you could get travel approval, at least once.


Start packing your Safety Boots and go build some genuine, mutual human trust!


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