Welcome Back To The Gemba!
CHAPTER 8: CREATING VALUE
The deepest challenge of lean is to connect the customers' smiles with employees' smiles. In lean, we do this by increasing the flow of ideas through the company.
Suggestions are often thought as an add-on, something we'll do "when we grow up," but in fact suggestions are at the very heart of the lean worldview, and at the origin of lean with the "Good Thinking, Good Products" campaign in Toyota in the early 1950s.
The flow of idea is also critical to the flow of Value Analysis/Value Engineering that drives lean innovation.
The challenge is therefore setting up a suggestion system that supports both recognition for frontline employees but also mutual trust between employees and management and collaboration across functional boundaries.
Which starts with finding one suggestion at every gemba walk, and working from there.