Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lean Safety Gemba Walks – A Methodology for Workforce Engagement and Culture Change

So where have I been? My last blog post was ages ago. Well, instead of writing blog posts I committed myself and my time to completing the manuscript for a second book. The great news is that I signed a publishing agreement with the Taylor and Francis Group in mid-March and last week, while working on the East coast, I sent the electronic version of the manuscript to the acquisitions editor for the first review. The new book, Lean Safety Gemba Walks – A Methodology for Workforce Engagement and Culture Change is a natural progression that resulted from my first book, Lean Safety – Transforming Your Safety Culture with Lean Management.

In the first book I attempted to help the compliance based safety community understand the management philosophy called lean and how they could, using some of the lean tools along with their safety expertise, develop a continuous improvement safety culture that would not only support but advance their company’s lean efforts. And it is working. How do I know? Because I have witnessed the mind-shift change of so many people over the last four years. The new book contains 20 case studies that overview my involvement at 20 different sites along with stories about some of the people who I challenged and engaged. The case studies are a validation of my belief that the easiest entry point to employee engagement and business culture change is safety. I do not yet have a release date for the new book but it should be available sometime this fall. It will be my new tool to change the world – or at least how the world views workplace safety.

Speaking of the world I recently returned from a trip to the other side of the world. I had the opportunity to visit three different Australian companies and spread the Lean Safety message in March. The site’s processes were unique, steel coil processing and painting, cement manufacturing and home appliance assembly, yet all three sites provided ample opportunities for the participants to see and understand the duel power of Lean Safety – making work safer and easier while at the same time reducing process cycle times. It is indeed a long commute to work but I am already planning another visit for this fall. If you reside there and would like to connect let me know in advance.

After returning home for about five days I departed for the Boston, MA area. As I often do I combined work with pleasure. I first visited with a cousin who resides on Cape Cod before visiting two different companies in the Boston suburbs. I had a wonderful time reconnecting with my cousin and his wife. Even though we were separated by a 1000 miles we discovered we had been on parallel journeys – raising three children and developing many of the same interests.

I know in the near future my publisher is going to ask me for a few quotes that will be used on the back cover of my latest book. If you understand the power of Lean Safety and it has made a difference in your thinking maybe you would like to write a quote. Just send me an email and I will send you a few chapters from the new book. After reading them you can craft a quote that might be included on the back cover – no guarantees for the publisher selects the final few quotes from the stack I provide.

My next public workshop will be at an Abbott facility in Temecula, CA on May 20-21, 2014. Contact me if you would like information on the event. Stay safe.