The Nemawashi Way

To bring positive change to an organization it is vital to build a coalition, to carefully raise awareness about a better way to do things, and to do it in a way that respects management and the people in the organization.

Japanese management has a unique practice that teaches us how to accomplish this, a practice that Lean has used and that we embrace as a fundamental part of KAFE. In summary the Nemawashi Way involves the following steps:

  • Find as much as possible about the roots of the bad business practice, bad metric, or fake deadline that needs to be corrected
  • Finding out who are the people in authority that need to be convinced to bring about positive change
  • Informally gather support from like-minded professionals in the organization to build consensus
  • Informally talk with the people in authority to see what level of positive change can be implemented
  • Once support has been achieved from the people in authority, call for a formal meeting to make the decision official. If possible full change will happen, but otherwise gradual change will begin.
  • Finally implement the change!

If you wish to know more from the Japanese cultural links to Nemawashi today, I recommend you read this article.

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About Joseph Hurtado

Agile Innovator and Enterprise Agile Coach. SAFe SPC, Scrum CSM and Kanban Ace Trainer. Currently writing the Kanban Ace Framework for Effectiveness or KAFE; a new way to achieve agility using the best ideas of Lean and Agile.