24 Jun Leadership Nudge® 317 – The Andon Cord
Leaders create mechanisms that allow the team to signal that they feel like it’s time for a pause. It’s this tool that enables the team to feel comfortable pausing the production work (Doing, action, process, production work. Redwork benefits from reducing variability.) in order to bring unusual problems to light or to ask questions.
Today I want to talk about the power of pause.
Now in the The period when humans developed large complex organizations based on machines. Factories, assembly lines, plantations, and railroads were dominant during the Industrial Age. The Industrial Age organizational design was optimized to use humans to reduce variability and comply with their masters’ instructions. This fundamental structure shapes our organizational design and language today., where the overriding play was to The Industrial Age play where we feel the stress of having to get so much done within a certain period of time., that sense of time pressure kept us out of our prefrontal cortex. That made it very hard for teams to do higher-level cognitive thinking. But now, we want the team to reflect upon their own work, solve problems, and make decisions about the future so we have to call timeout. This pauses and relieves the pressure of the clock allowing the team to say “Oh, now we can do some thinking.” The job of the leaders here changes a little bit. Leaders need to create a mechanism that allows the team to signal that they feel like it’s time for a pause. This is exactly what the Andon is the Japanese word for lantern. The andon cord was a system installed in Toyota factories that allowed the workers to signal a pause in production because they had a problem on the line and needed to shift out of redwork and into bluework. in the Toyota Production System does. It’s a cord that workers could pull that lit a lantern (Andon is the Japanese word for lantern. The Andon cord was a system installed in Toyota factories that allowed the workers to signal they had a problem on the line and needed to shift out of Red Work and into Blue Work. is the Japanese word for lantern) which indicated “Hey, I was in production mode. I was in Doing, action, process, production work. Redwork benefits from reducing variability., but somehow there’s a problem and I need to now switch to problem solving mode. I need to raise my head up, look left and right, have an expansive approach, solve a problem, often with the help of my supervisor and then we can start the lineup and go back into production mode.” The power of pause. I’m David Marquet, that’s your Leadership Nudge.