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Walk to Understand

October 12, 2018

By Tim Kelly

DOC Communications

(Tim Kelly, DOC Communications)


Department leaders have adopted a Japanese business practice called gemba walks. Gemba means the personal observation of work and where it is happening. The concept stresses observation, location, and interaction with those at each facility or office.

With staff as the department’s greatest asset, gemba walks show a commitment to personal and professional development for the staff. It also encourages clear, open, honest communication to promote unity, productivity, and understanding.

It’s important that staff are honest with their managers and that managers come from a place of seeking understanding. Gemba walks aren’t used to point out flaws or enforce policies. The goal is to gain input and reflection and to collaborate for positive change.