Genchi Genbutsu – Get out and Go See for Yourself | Lean Principle 12

Get out of your office to learn

“… Managers should be so engaged with the shop floor, that they have to wash their hands at least three times a day” – Taiichi Ohno – Gemba Gembutsu

What is Genchi Genbutsu?

The 12th Principle Lean is a challenge to all managers out there to leave their comfort zone and go to where the customer value is created (Genchi Gembutsu).

All too often, we all make decisions without really understanding what is going on. We make decisions based on limited information and without really understanding the heart of the issues are people are facing.

Lean challenges us to “go and see” for yourself so that you can truly understand what is happening and how you can best help solve the issue at hand. We all make too many poor decisions based on limited information because we don’t find time to learn for ourselves.

What is the difference between Genchi Genbutsu vs Gemba

Literally translated, Genchi Genbutsu means “Go and See”. And it is used in Lean to highlight and signify, that it is not by sitting in your office and attending meetings with other office dwellers that real fundamental change will happen.

For change to really happen, managers have to lead by spending time where the actual work is taking place – this is the Gemba.

All too often, we all make decisions without really understanding what is going on. We make decisions based on limited information and without really understanding the heart of the issues are people are facing.

Summary about Genchi Genbutsu and Lean Principle 12

Lean challenges us to “go and see” for yourself so that you can truly understand what is happening and how you can best help solve the issue at hand. We all make too many poor decisions based on limited information because we don’t find time to learn for ourselves.

It is not easy, and we are all guilty of being far too busy being busy. 

As said, Lean even has a term for it – Genchi Gembutsu – go to where the value is created!

So you have to ask yourself a few questions:

Who is creating the value that our customers desire? And where is that value being created?

Wherever you find this place, this is where you and other managers should be spending their time to truly understand how you can create more value by making the right decision.

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… Managers should be so engaged with the shop floor, that they have to wash their hands at least three times a day”

Taiichi Ohno – Gemba Gembutsu Tweet

The 12th Principle Lean is a challenge to all managers out there to leave their comfort zone and go to where the customer value is created (Genchi Gembutsu).

All too often, we all make decisions without really understanding what is going on. We make decisions based on limited information and without really understanding the heart of the issues are people are facing.

Lean challenges us to “go and see” for yourself so that you can truly understand what is happening and how you can best help solve the issue at hand. We all make too many poor decisions based on limited information because we don’t find time to learn for ourselves.

What is the difference between Genchi Genbutsu vs Gemba


Literally translated, Genchi Genbutsu means “Go and See”. And it is used in Lean to highlight and signify, that it is not by sitting in your office and attending meetings with other office dwellers that real fundamental change will happen.
For change to really happen, managers have to lead by spending time where the actual work is taking place – this is the Gemba.

All too often, we all make decisions without really understanding what is going on. We make decisions based on limited information and without really understanding the heart of the issues are people are facing.

Summary about Genchi Genbutsu and Lean Principle 12


Lean challenges us to “go and see” for yourself so that you can truly understand what is happening and how you can best help solve the issue at hand. We all make too many poor decisions based on limited information because we don’t find time to learn for ourselves.

It is not easy, and we are all guilty of being far too busy being busy.

As said, Lean even has a term for it – Genchi Gembutsu – go to where the value is created!

So you have to ask yourself a few questions:

1) Who is creating the value that our customers desire? And where is that value being created?
2) Wherever you find this place, this is where you and other managers should be spending their time to truly understand how you can create more value by making the right decision.

To learn more about our Lean Training – Join our Free Lean Course


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