Develop a Kaizen Spirit thru TWI

A few weeks ago, I introduced the Lean Talent Development Matrix and had promised to follow-up with the description in more detail of the boxes. Instead of singling out each box, I thought the natural progression was to group the boxes and show the overall relationships in four quadrants.Lean Talent Development

This diagram represents the four boxes on the lower left side of the 9 box matrix. It is basically the introductory path for new talent and the typical lifecycle of a particular job role within an organization. As many Lean practitioners will notice, it is the basic flow depicted for Training within Industry. I am not saying for everyone they need TWI training. Or, this is the path needed for talent development. However, I think the rigidity of the TWI process provides an excellent knowledge path for creating standard work (SDCA) and the introduction of Job Methods (PDCA). The outcome of this entire process should create a culture of what one might say, Kaizen Spirit.

Lean Talent Development

A short description of the process:

Job Relations: We start with having people ready to onboard new personnel. Our supervisors, coaches, and mentors are in place before and during the entire lifecycle. There is no better place than to start at the beginning to help shape the culture of “respect for people” which will be the quickest path for unleashing worker creativity. This is where we will create a positive, no-blame environment where frontline workers are empowered to solve problems.

Job Instructions: Establish job standards and train to those standards with the necessary work skills. Standards are maintained through job instructions built-in observation.

Standard Work: Having established work increases the ability of new and current employees to understand their boundaries and to become not only proficient but excel at their job. It is not a checklist driven mentality, though a checklist might be used at times, rather an empowering method through knowing.

Job Methods: This area is the final piece of the puzzle teaching frontline staff on “how to see” breaking down their jobs and driving out waste. This “Kaizen Spirit” provides a systematic approach to an improvement mindset developing that continuous improvement mindset.

If you want a brief introduction to TWI and a path to learning more visit:

I have found working with companies mainly from a freelancer perspective that seldom is the necessary groundwork in place to develop an effective continuous improvement mindset. It is not that we lack in problem-solving skills, rather it is a lack of having a standardized process to include onboarding and development. Without standards, it is even difficult to measure improvement, and the scary part is knowing if we are even headed in the right direction sometimes. As a result, few people coming on board can reach their proficiency at the given rate desired. If the practice, for example of TWI is part of your standardized work, people can perform at their highest level very quickly.

Sales Plug: In an immersive working session at the Lean People Development Summit, held September 11-12, Roger Bilas will facilitate the TWI:  Still the Perfect Foundation for People Development – 75 Years and Counting session. The Summit draws professionals from HR, continuous improvement, and leadership to explore how best to design job roles aimed at improvement, build problem-solving skills, define process improvement competencies, and develop leaders at all levels of the organization.For more information visit:

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