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The foundation of the house of gemba – Part 3

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Building self-discipline

Needless to say, self-discipline is a cornerstone of the house of gemba management. Self-disciplined employees can be trusted to report on time to work; to maintain clean, orderly, and safe environments; and to follow the existing standards to achieve QCD targets. Ways of helping employees acquire self-discipline:


  1. Reward incremental steps
  2. Catch them doing it right
  3. Open yourself to questions
  4. Develop a culture that says let’s do it!
  5. Make the process known to improve standards
  6. Conduct assessment
  7. Encourage customer involvement
  8. Implement a suggestion system
  9. Establish quality circles
  10. Build in reward systems
  11. Communicate expectations clearly
  12. Conduct frequent reviews of the process
  13. Provide measurement feedback
  14. Foster a climate of cooperation
  15. Give specific instructions regarding criteria
  16. Be involved in setting standards
  17. Explain why
  18. Set a good example
  19. Teach how and why
  20. Make progress displays visible
  21. Remove barriers
  22. Encourage positive peer pressure
  23. Create a threat free environment

When employees in the gemba participate in such activities as housekeeping, muda elimination, and review of standards, they immediately begin to see the many benefits brought about by these kaizen, and they are the first to welcome such changes. Through such a process, their behaviors as well as attitudes begin to change. An employee who has participated in reviewing and upgrading the standard of his or her own work naturally develops ownership of such a standard as a result and willingly follows such a new standard.

In the same manner, employees eventually come to develop self-discipline as they engage in other kaizen projects and learn by doing such things as elimination of muda and visual management. Thus self-discipline translated into “everybody doing his or her own job accordingly to the rules that have been agreed on.” Self-discipline is a natural byproduct of engaging in gemba kaizen activities. 

Acknowledgment; Gemba Kaizen by Sensei Masaaki Imai


Author: Kaizen Institute - India!

Kaizen Institute – India is part of the Global Kaizen Institute operations. Kaizen Institute was established by Sensei Masaaki Imai, the GURU of Kaizen. He wrote the 1st book 28 yrs ago and that is when it all started . We operate in 30+ countries today and have over 400+ coaches helping more then 600 organizations Learn, Apply, Sustain – Kaizen/ Operational Excellence. In India we have two physical offices – Pune & Ahmedabad and 27 coaches in all.

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