Over the years we’ve been fortunate enough to talk to a lot of people about how Gemba Academy could add value to their organization’s lean and/or six sigma journey. Many times these conversations start as sales calls. Folks will call in with questions about how it all works, what the costs are, etc.
Now, as any person that’s worked in sales knows, one of the “skills” needed to close deals is handling objections. These objections obviously vary, but one that comes up from time to time is how having access to Gemba Academy videos may put the training department out of their jobs. Consultants, who earn their living training others, sometimes fear a solution like Gemba Academy since they’re worried no one will want to pay them $2,000 a day to teach folks what 5S is.
I’ve always handled these objections the same way. First, I do acknowledge that you may not need to continue training people the way you do today. This isn’t a bad thing, in fact it’s a very good thing. These same folks, who used to spend all of their time and energy training people, will now be able to actually focus on invoking change at the gemba. Put another way, their role changes from “trainer” to “facilitator of change.”
I was recently talking to my colleague, Steve Kane, about this very scenario and he said he believes our biggest value is helping people spend more time in the “do” phase and less time in the “plan/teaching” phase.
I even think back to my corporate days. I used to spend at least 20 weeks per year training others through lean workshops (which were really just training events with a tricked out lego simulation) or Six Sigma certification classes. Sadly, we rarely, if ever, made anything better these weeks. Instead, I mostly talked and the students mostly listened.
Of course, there can be tremendous value in live training sessions since questions can be asked immediately. Products like Gemba Academy have also been used during live training sessions. The facilitator will play a video to a room full of people, and once the video is over questions can be asked. There are many ways to leverage Gemba Academy.
In the end, our hope is that Gemba Academy enables people to spend less time in a classroom and more time at their gemba, or the place their work is done, making things better.
If you’re a Gemba Academy customer, or have used Gemba Academy in the past, I’d love to hear how you use our product in the comments section below.