George Bernard Shaw, the legendary Irish playwright, is credited with the quote, “Education is wasted on the young”.  Sadly, Shaw’s sagacious statement seems to be becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s culture. As educators, we must find ways to engage adults and hopefully excite their sense of wonderment, making learning enriching and rewarding.

Getting Out of the Classroom

One way to unlock wonderment and engage the adult learner is to take a field trip. Yes, that’s right. Remember how much you enjoyed them as a kid? In the Lean world, we call it going to the Gemba or doing a waste walk.

I recently facilitated a class for one of our clients, a large industrial distribution company.  The Lean training was being held in a training room located at one of their warehouses, which lent us the opportunity to customize the session and incorporate a series of waste walks. My biggest observation was how engaged EVERYONE was. We split into two teams of seven and I loved observing how they all were calling things out and asking each other good questions. It’s important to note that the teams were prepared prior to taking waste walks with training on The 8 Types of Waste and the concept of 5S.

The experience brought new energy to the rest of the training and promoted the application of the Lean tools and concepts to their workplace environment.  It also inspired ideas for improvement and excited the group to get started on their workplace projects.

Leveraging Field Trips for Your Team

Are you considering continuous improvement training for your team? Our team would love to work with you.  Together we can identify field trip opportunities and incorporate your company’s needs and objectives into your next training. You will be amazed by how fun and productive learning can be again.

The Added Benefits of Waste Walks

Waste walks are beneficial beyond the classroom. Waste walks are highly effective at surfacing waste and process flaws, often those that are hard to find. Making them a habitual activity can instill a Lean culture and drive engagement levels higher.

Waste walks can generate higher-level benefits as well. Three key high-level benefits are:

  1. increased workforce engagement at all levels of the organization;
  2. more collaborative problem-solving solutions leading to greater buy-in; and
  3. greater levels of trust.

Does your team leverage waste walks?  If so, email us! We’d love to hear about it.

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