LeanSix Sigma

Will Gemba Academy Put You Out of a Job?

By Ron Pereira Updated on May 4th, 2017

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.

  1. Kelly

    May 5, 2017 - 9:26 am

    I agree with you – Gemba Academy does help the trainer get past the basic concepts to the actual ‘doing’. We’ve used Gemba Academy since 2007 and we use it to jump-start and/or augment training on techniques or concepts. Just like you might watch a sports training video to learn of a new or better technique, the training still works best if you have someone beside you helping you make the corrections that makes the technique work best for you. The video training modules aren’t eliminating the trainer’s role but making the time spent with individuals or groups more effective.

    • Ron Pereira

      May 8, 2017 - 9:25 am

      Thank you, Kelly! We appreciate you all so much. Keep up the great work.

  2. Rick Foreman

    May 5, 2017 - 9:40 am

    We’ve used it as a supplement since 2008 and find it to be a perfect fit. Learning by doing happens in the Gemba and to have quick, specific training segments to communicate the message before action works well. I’ve been in manufacturing for 39 years and have seen classroom training that lasts an hour or maybe 30 minutes have little impact. Gemba Academy allows us to teach a principle and then go act on it. Gemba Academy continues to be a perfect fit along with our book clubs and mastermind groups. As you so well noted, A has allowed me to spend much more time in the Gemba as a facilitator for 20+ locations. The time it would have required for me to develop a format and content would have taken me away from supporting our team members where they need the most help.

    • Ron Pereira

      May 8, 2017 - 9:26 am

      Thank you, Rick. You guys are amazing and I truly value our partnership. Keep up the great work my friend.

  3. Markus Vock

    May 6, 2017 - 10:46 am

    I’m using Gemba Academy for many years. It makes it much easier for me to get customers prepared and you are right, I’m able to spend more time in Gemba. My customers also can go back and refresh the training when I’m not there. The training you provide is a great addition to all the training material I have.
    I really believe that you cannot learn Lean by sitting in a class room. The training is just the first step. The real learning starts in Gemba (Shop floor or Admin), wehen you go, see and get your hands dirty.
    Thank you for all your good work and keep doing what you are doing. It is highly appreciated!
    Best regards
    Markus Vock

    • Ron Pereira

      May 8, 2017 - 9:26 am

      Thank you, Markus! Yes, we must go to gemba! Keep up the great work and thank you for your business. We truly appreciate you.

  4. Steven Bonacorsi

    May 8, 2017 - 9:18 am

    [From LinkedIn] I agree, I am not fearful of Gemba Academy putting me out a job. As a Lean Six Sigma Consultant and practitioner, i am very aware that the real value-add time is in the delivery of real results via projects. I would rather be spending my time solving real problems with teams that learned the concepts from Gemba Academy than having to literally stand in front of folks training them on the same concepts day after day. Gemba has nailed it with incredible training examples and quality online training at an affordable rate. So i am able to now reinforce that training with coaching and translating on how we can apply those concepts to solve a real problem right now. I love it, although I agree, change is hard, but thank you for helping me with that too, with some of your awesome change management videos too 🙂

    • Ron Pereira

      May 8, 2017 - 9:27 am

      Thanks, Steven! Keep up the great work yourself! The value you are adding to the world is incredible.

  5. Samuel Delay

    May 8, 2017 - 9:19 am

    [From LinkedIn] I too agree with the article. Why conduct training? Why spend limited time, money, and resources on traditional training? In the organization that I’m consulting at we’ve come to the realization that improvement experts are better utilized as coaches versus being classroom instructors. Today, Lean Six Sigma green belt and black belt training is outsourced. If an organization within the agency wants to send their employee to training, they are provided a list of recommended training institutions. They should then own the responsibility of selecting and supporting those employees. In addition, it’s highly recommended that they start practicing what they are learning with the oversight of a coach as soon as possible, preferably while they are still going through the training.

    • Ron Pereira

      May 8, 2017 - 9:27 am

      Thank you, Samuel. Keep up the great work yourself and thank you for using Gemba Academy!

  6. Gordon E Mumford

    May 9, 2017 - 2:15 am

    In my experience, Ron, the critical thing about training is not the training itself, but the follow up to ensure that the training is actually put into practice.

    • Ron Pereira

      May 9, 2017 - 7:47 am

      I totally agree, Gordon. Thank you for the comment!

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