Gemba Management

Respect the People

One of the pillars of the Toyota Production System is respect for the people.  When I first read about this something in my brain did click.  I grew up in a traditional family surrounded by my grandparents, lots of aunts and uncles and of course my siblings and cousins.  The one thing that we learned was respect.  It was impossible to ignore the respect daily lessons, the message was constant, loud and clear.  Starting with respect to our parents and another family, following with respect to all grown-ups especially older people.  Soon we learn that respect was something to give, not to demand.  If you don’t respect people, people will not respect you.

Respect is critical for any kind of relationship, without it the communication fails.  Without effective communication, nothing will happen.  Respect for people in an organization is something we will see in different ways and every one of them are important.

Once I hired an incredible engineer with lots of experience working with our types of machines, excellent credentials, and his technical knowledge was right on.  Pretty soon after he started, it was pretty clear what his weak point was.  His people skills were bad, the team immediately build a huge wall the size of the China Wall between them and the engineer.  He yelled instructions around assuming everybody knew how to do things his way.  When he came back to see things were different to what he asked he yelled again demanding reasons that he won’t listen.  A couple of times he openly talked to people referring to his team as the worst mechanics he ever has seen.

Of course, this was a perfect example of what not to do.  The picture below shows some other examples:




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