Since the publication of my thesis in June 2017, I was excited to share the results and my learnings on how kata can transform the organization’s culture in order to sustain continuous improvement over the long term . Unfortunately, the opportunity to share the results of my dissertation with the kata community was rather restricted since it was in written in French! In order to address this situation and be able to share it with kata geeks, here’s a very honest translation of my master’s thesis.
This translation would have not been possible without the colossal work of Mark Rosenthal (http://theleanthinker.com/). Since our first encounter at Katacon3 in February 2017, Mark has been a great colleague and contributed to my development as a consultant and kata geek. I recommend his blog to anyone fond of kata, continuous improvement and organizational culture.
LINK TO DOWNLOAD : Translation – Toyota kata – A lever to build a culture of continuous improvement – Marc-Olivier Legentil
This study aims to explore how the deployment of kata can affect the organizational culture to support continuous improvement.
To identify the impact of kata on organizational culture we identified the elements favorable to the culture of continuous improvement based on the three levels of organizational culture identified by Schein (2004); the artifacts, the values and beliefs, and the underlying assumptions. We also attempted to define continuous improvement culture based on the culture types of the Competing Value Framework of Cameron and Quinn (2011).
We concluded that kata establishes a belief in the ability of individuals to learn, transforms the organization into a place where all employees are experimenters, and contributes to changing the behaviors of executives, managers, and team leaders to become teachers and coaches. The deployment of kata is also changing the way employees think in regard to the frequency of improvement activities. It establishes the belief that continuous improvement is an integral part of the work of each employee and not a parallel activity. Finally, the deployment of kata creates a work environment that prioritizes cooperation, learning, and employee engagement over employee’s individual performances.