Branston pickle is intimately linked to the Kaizen philosophy of continous improvement, vacuum cleaners and agile development.
Mark Ridley, Group CTO at Blenheim Chalcot uses his love of the condiment as a launchpad to discuss design thinking, agile and problem solving.
"Toyota rigorously train their staff in kaizen problem solving," says Ridley. "At their factory in Burnaston, near Derby, we were told of a problem they had with the overhead rails, on which deliveries of parts ran to workers on the production line. In the course of a week, the rails built up carbon deposits, and the line would have to stop while they were cleaned.
"One kaizen-trained Derby native came up with the brilliant idea of literally zip tying a portable vacuum to the delivery hopper, cleaning the rails and preventing thousands of pounds of downtime. This is what MIT professor, and innovation luminary Eric von Hippel would call ‘user innovation.'
"In design thinking we're encouraged to spend time observing and interacting with the end users as much as possible, creating what IDEO [the firm which designed the first Apple mouse] call ‘how might we…' challenges. At Toyota, this has a different name, 'Genchi Genbutsu', or going to the place where value is created.
"Design thinking and Toyota's lean - the historic inspiration for agile software development are twins separated at birth. They are codified common sense, with a dash of perspective and a human centred problem solving mindset."
Watch the video for the full story, including what advice Ridley thinks Isambard Kingdom Brunel would have for him, were he alive today.
If you're an IT leader and would like to be featured in this video series, please contact Lydia Szulc-Krzyzanowska ([email protected]).
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