Jidoka to learn to work better


If you want to learn to be better at your job, Jidoka is the right approach: when you have a doubt, stop, call, think and fix. Now.

In everything we do, we create some value and generate some waste – both for us, and for others downstream. Essentially, we make mistakes that then have to be corrected. The difficulty is that although we can see the effects of the mistake, it’s hard to see what we’re actually doing wrong (and our stone age brains tend to blame others for mistakes rather than see clearly our own part in this).

The principle of “don’t accept a bad part, don’t make a bad part, don’t pass on a bad part” is key to focusing on what we’re doing wrong as we do it.

This teaches us to recognize mistakes as they happen and has two effects:

  • Output: first, obviously, it improves output as it reduces the overall number of mistakes and so generates less waste
  • Outcome: second, more importantly, it improves outcomes in allowing us to look more deeply into what we do and understand what works and what doesn’t work.

Practicing Jidoka is the key to discovering the hidden rules to the work and finding a deeper understanding of the job in a variety of circumstances.


Don’t face problems alone. When in doubt, don’t push on or work around the problem. Stop, call someone, observe and discuss, think deeply and fix the issue right away. This is how you teach yourself to becoming better at what you do, better at working with colleagues and better at doing your job as a whole.

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