Now to all the Leadershape graduates, you know what Day 7 is, but I’m going to explain it for the people who have never attended. Day 7 is the day to take the first step to implement your vision. The first attempt to try to make a change in the world and bring about your dream. Now I know this is a bit different than what is usually talked about on this blog, but bear with me while I show the similarities between Day 7 and Lean.
How do you know what you need to improve? There may be many answers to this but to me it is when someone has an idea to do something better. At Leadershape, participants go through a process of finding out where they have weak points, what they want, and how to bring that about through a series of team building activities. The participants go through a personal Lean process in order to become better people and to hone their vision. They have to identify the waste in both their life and work, then plan to eliminate it. This is seen clearly in one of the activities that was simulating a production line. In this activity people had to work as a team to pass the ball to everyone as many times as possible while not passing it to the people directly next to you. Then, once they have figured out how to do this, people come in to try to disrupt the flow. By going through this, the students learned how to be efficient and use Lean thinking under pressure. Lean is about the implementation of Continuous Improvement and is necessary for a vision.
My day 7 had a lot coming to it. I changed my mind over and over on what I should do and what I could do. My vision had a core value of wanting to help women. I wanted to change the world, but struggled knowing that I couldn’t just jump to the final solution. I eventually decided to work without an answer, and to fix mistakes as they come around. I took my first step with Women’s Leadership Council. While it was a small step, it was one in the right direction. By taking on a leadership role with them, I was able to help young women in the community. One of the activities we planned was aimed to help girl scouts get their science badges. This event took a lot of planning and was guided by the principles of Lean. We split up the events and looked at how to plan the event using swim lanes and dividing the work between the members. It was a tedious process but through the implementation of Lean, my Day 7 went smoothly.
I hope that with the use of Lean and Continuous Improvement, everyone can create their own successful Day 7, changing the world for the better. If you have any questions about Lean or Continuous Improvement please feel free to stop by the Office of Continuous Improvement in 135W Wads, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.