Gemba is Japanese for “the real place,” where the work is actually done. I like “where the action is,” as in go “where the action is” to see for yourself, before forming an opinion.(Gemba Gembitsu)
In other words, get off your duff, leave the office, put “I know” on the back burner, and go where the work is done to observe and dialogue with humility with those who do the work, who may know a thing or two themselves. I call it SimplyLooking™. Better many brains than one.
Dedicated to Peter Scholtes, one of the most enjoyable teachers of how to run things better, this song was inspired by the rules for the Gemba on page 107 of his wonderful book The Leader’s Handbook. You can get the book here. But you can only listen to the song here on managenaturally.com (if you steal it you use it freely, but always give me credit!)