An apt description of how delegates at the recent Works Managements Manufacturing Conference were feeling after their one hour workshop with Festo facilitators covering the topic of LEAN communication.
Delivered as part of WM magazine’s two day conference on LEAN initiatives, delegates were shown the ropes by some experts in the area – two professional dog trainers and their shining stars, Dinky, The Stig and Twinkles.
While the dogs demonstrated the impact of negative and positive reinforcement many delegates were left to contemplate on their own past experiences with various management styles. With the dogs earning a rest it was then the delegates turn to replicate what they had observed, each taking a turn as manager and employee and tackling a fiendish course of bean bags, squeaky ducks, hula hoops and chairs!
Very few completed their first tasks. Maybe the dogs were making it look easy!
Armed with velcro bean bags the delegates could then let their feelings be known via the appropriate mood boards. The force of the bags hitting the boards told the story of their frustration in the giving and receiving of clear communication.
To demonstate further the value of clear and concise instruction on an engaged learner "The Stig" then promptly retrieved a beer from a locked fridge for his owner via a single command and all for a hug and a kiss. This may have been pushing the delegates a stage too far so was only used as a demonstration.
However, the importance of praise and recognition now clear in everyones minds, the delegates went on to practice their new skills and to congratulate each other on a job well done.
In all some 120 delegates attended and enjoyed the workshop with the demand for further training from Festo on employee engagement and LEAN systems requested by many immediately afterwards. Requests to buy The Stig and his beer retrieval abilities were refused but the value of an engaged employee and a good leader were clear for all to see.