Instead of Innovation

As fast as the world turns these days, it is not easy to stay abreast of the latest concepts and management trends. While it is important that you not let the world pass you by, it is also valuable to leverage some tried-and-true tools.

TWI (Training Within Industry) and the Coaching and Improvement Katas are behavioral tools that can increase the effectiveness of your entire team quickly and safely.

If you’ve ever taken a martial arts class, you’ve been introduced to the concept of kata. The term itself refers to a process repeated reliably to enhance mastery. The same is true for the coaching and improvement katas.

While deceptively simple, as with any of the martial arts, detailed regular practice under the watchful eye of an expert is integral to proficiency. Both of these katas share the same thinking, but the detailed steps are different. That’s the same as the katas for two varieties of the martial arts.

TWI is a tool developed by the US federal government at the early stages of WW2 to get the new female workforce productive quickly and safely. The men experienced in manufacturing had gone to war, and women had to step into those roles. Rosie the Riveter was born.

There are multiple aspects of TWI, each consistent with the other and each designed for specific purpose. Again, conceptually, this is similar to kata. It is worth investing some time watching a few YouTube videos and reading summaries of the distinct purpose of each form of TWI.

While TWI is fully in the public domain, reading the original government documentation is not fun nor particularly helpful. That’s why I recommend searching for more modern overviews.

Other than training, neither TWI nor Kata requires a financial investment. Both can rapidly enhance the safety and quality of your workforce as they work to master and improve your business operations.

Yes, innovation is crucial to success. But, no, that does not mean jettisoning the already-existing and proven tools.

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