Lean Listening…Can you last 18 seconds?

In this video, Tom Peters, who with Robert J. Waterman wrote "In Search of Excellence", challenges us about listening.

In it he uses the example of a doctor; a professional who spent many years in studying and encounters patients who may define their similar problems in different ways.

He challenges us to consider;

  • What is the number 1 source of evidence about the patients problem?
  • How long on average is it before the doctor interrupts the patient? with their opinion?
  • How long does Tom reckon it is before a manager interrupts
  • What is the single most strategic strength a business can have is?
  • What is the #1 piece of training Tom would put in his MBA course?

For many years we've considered listening to be a really crucial part of Gemba, the lean technique of going to the place of work and observing; observing to us means seeing and listening. 

Tom Peters' Leadership Thoughts: Listening


Tom offers some great advice on listening.  

To us, when added to observation, seeing and listening also means asking those three critical questions;

  1. What am I seeing/hearing that I expect to?
  2. What am I NOT seeing/hearing that I expect to? (What is missing?)
  3. What am I seeing/hearing that I WASN'T expecting to? (What has surprised me?)


If you liked this post then you might like our other posts on GEMBA 

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.