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“Enough knowledge and skill to go and play and learn from that.”

September 23, 2022
When I (Oscar) asked Tony Burns “what’s our objective for the week?” Tony replied “make sure all participants have enough knowledge and skill to go and play and learn from that”. What a terrific answer when the ‘playing’ is directed toward scientifically thinking within continuous improvement. It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than think your way into a new way of acting …

Tony is CI Manager with Church & Dwight at their plant in Vancouver WA USA. Church & Dwight have an interesting ‘informal’ vision – to have a product in every aisle of the supermarket. That makes them very diverse manufacturers of consumer goods (vitamin gummies, cat litter, detergent, toothpaste, condoms and more) but with very common underlying principles and philosophies.

For the week commencing 12 September they brought together 30 of their CI and operational leaders from across North America, Canada and the UK for ‘KataComm 2022’.

The 30 were split into 3 teams of 10. Each group undertook the TWI Institute scientific thinking (‘Toyota Kata’) program delivered by myself alongside Job Instruction training delivered by Pat Graupp. It was a very intense week, their brains were stretched, as was mine and Pat’s. But what a way to learn from each other, thus setting the platform intended by Tony.

Largely the groups biggest concern was ‘here’s another thing we have to do’. Perhaps the greatest water shed moment was when they realised what they were practising (during our week) was NOT an extra thing to do – it was an alternative way of thinking about what they are currently doing. They have given a commitment to try this and see what happens.

The week concluded with bowling (team v team) Thursday night and a river cruise (Columbia River, Portland Oregon) and dinner (grand finale) Friday night.

Our ‘reality webinar series’ starting October 5 (Australian time) will track 3 plants so you can see what’s actually happening and being learnt.

Click here to watch the first webinar.