Improvement and Coaching Kata: Fostering a culture of learning and experimentationTimothy Kwan
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Many large organizations try to get real innovation with lots of time and resources, but many end up failing and complaining when their innovation never arrives. What we see in these organizations is that there are individual and organizational habits that cause innovation efforts to fail. These organization rewards acts of heroism rather than acts of learning and punishes those that makes failures. As the individual level, it encourages maximizing completing project work over learning and minimizing taking risks.
What this all means is that these organizations have a culture that inhibits learning and creativity. These organizations wonder why innovation never comes.
True innovation in the IT world is only possible by leveraging creativity, which requires a mindset of learning and being able to accept failure.
Improvement and Coaching Kata also known as Toyota Kata, is a model and technique that can help incrementally move IT organizations towards a culture learning and experimentation. Its practices involves everyone in the organization working collaboratively towards the vision of the organization. By understanding where the organization wants to be in the far distance future, we analyzes what is the current state and value streams of the organization, and what experiments could be run to learn more on improving the various processes. All continuous improvement efforts are executed with systematic experiments with the vision in mind. The primary outcome of these experiments is learning. It does not matter if experiments succeed or fail(to a certain degree), only if we apply its valuable learning to the process or new experiments.
By doing Improvement and Coaching Kata on a high frequency cadence(daily), new habits form that encourage learning and experimentation.