I'm in a situation at work that has me a bit frustrated. My company has recently adopted 5S and Lean thinking. They are implementing it into every facet of the corporation. I work in one of there distribution facilities and have had limited training on the subject. I am aware of what 5S is yet, have no clue how to hold a "5S event". I've Google'd 5S and taken all the information I can that is available for free and really haven't gotten any further. I was wondering what the best course of action would be to ease the frustration and fulfill the 1 event a week requirement. I have noticed this trend within the company over the past two years I've been among it's ranks and am quite thrown aback having come from UPS, who is constantly training and re-training. I've tried discussing this matter with my boss who just tells me to figure it out but, make sure it's done by Thursday.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

First, don't kid yourself - your company will never get 5s and lean with this kind of stupidity. It's just DUMB.

And, this sounds like a [b]great opportunity[/b].

Figure out some basic BASIC stuff about 5S, and give SHORT AND SIMPLE sessions each week. One topic each week. Not much more than 30 minutes. Don't go an hour - you'll bore them with your lack of knowledge. Put together a schedule for the next 5 weeks so your boss doesn't kill it immediately. Make sure you're clear every week that YOU are barely staying ahead of the SESSIONS.

Reach out to other folks being dealt this lousy hand in a good game and see what THEY are doing at THEIR facilities, and offer to share (web, email, whatever) what YOU are doing. Call a few before and after each session to see how and what they're doing. Further, call corporate and find the person who is in charge, and ask for help/guidance/documents/training plans/goals/whatever the heck you have up there that would help me.

After 3-4 weeks (you'll need to be thinking about this all along), start adding "things we can do 'HERE AND NOW'" portions at the end of your session. You've got to get things actionable pretty quickly.


akinsgre's picture

I just read [u]Fearless Change[/u] (Manning). It has some great suggestions for just this situation.

Two thoughts

1. Find an Guru and do some Brownbags. Maybe there is someone in the company who knows more than you already, and would welcome an opportunity to come and present. Maybe there is someone in your network who would do you a favor.

2. Use collaborative learning. Don't present yourself as an expert; but make information available and work through the learning curve with everyone else.