I took a clipping from the December 5th 2012 edition of the China Daily, the article titled pomp and ceremony must end. Xi Jinping, the new leader of China asked officials to “slash red tape, including unnecessary visits, meetings and pointless discussions”. Here is the leader of one of the most powerful nations on the earth today telling his civil servants to be more effective as civil servants. This is not an uncommon exhortation for political leaders, but I was impressed by how he wants them to get this done.
1. Grasp the situation… The article stated that all members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China were urged to understand the real situation facing society.
2. …through gemba walks… He asked that they conduct more thorough inspection tours where social problems are acute and that senior leaders to go to the grassroots to listen to the public.
3. …to remove non value added. Xi encouraged his leaders to end unnecessary pomp, extravagance and displays and cut down on too much jargon and empty words in many speeches.
All this in order to tackle to better tackle people’s most practical problems.
The Politburo of the CPC are the most senior party officials in that country, each holding both vast regional authority and the ability to appoint other leaders. The statements by Xi are akin to a CEO telling the senior VPs to go to the gemba, look, listen, cut meetings and extravagant off-sites junkets, and take actions that will improve the practical problems on the gemba.
China is already the “workshop of the world”. Will it also be come the “gemba kaizen workshop of the world”? This is most interesting to watch.